How do I get a copy of Ontario divorce documents for the apostille process?

Published on Monday, June 17, 2019

At International Documents Canada we specialize in navigating the Canadian apostille process on behalf of our clients. One of the questions we here frequently from our clients is “how can I get a copy of my Ontario divorce documents”. This article provides a quick guide to obtaining a copy of your Ontario divorce documents such as a Divorce Order or Certificate of Divorce. We also touch on how to apostille your Ontario divorce documents. The Canadian apostille process is used to certify the authenticity of Canadian documents so they will be officially recognized in another country. If you need to present your Ontario divorce documents in another country, whether this is related to a marriage abroad, a name change, or any other matter, you may first need to have these documents apostilled.

How do I get a copy of my Ontario divorce documents?

To get a copy of your Ontario divorce documents you will need to know when the divorce took place. There are actually three separate sources of Ontario divorce records. Divorces granted in 1930 and earlier were granted by Canada’s Federal Parliament and are not discussed in this article. Ontario divorce records from 1931 onwards can be accessed in Ontario, either from your local courthouse or from the Archives of Ontario.

Getting a copy of divorce documents from 1987 and later

In Ontario, any Divorce Order or Certificate of Divorce that was issued in 1987 or later can only be re-issued by the court office where the proceeding was filed. You will need to either go in person to the court office or send a request by mail. This guidance document provides a list of Ontario Courts.

Getting a copy of divorce documents issued between 1981 and 1986

Most court offices in Ontario have transferred divorce records for the period 1981 to 1986 to the Archives of Ontario, but not all. The guidance document mentioned above lists which Ontario courthouses have transferred their 1981-1986 divorce files to the Archives. If the courthouse that issued your divorce has already transferred their files, you will need to contact the Archives. If the courthouse has not transferred its files you will need to contact the courthouse directly.

Getting a copy of divorce documents issued before 1981

All Ontario divorce documents issued before 1981 have been transferred to the Archives of Ontario.

What information do I need to have to obtain a copy of my Ontario divorce documents?

To obtain a copy of your divorce documents you will need to know the issuing courthouse or the name of the county/district where the divorce took place, the court file number, the year of the divorce, and the name of the two parties involved.

If you don’t have this information you can contact the Central Registry of Divorce Proceedings, a Canada-wide record of divorce proceedings. You can also use the indexes produced by Ontario. Ontario indexes for divorces prior to 1981 are housed with the Archives of Ontario. Information on divorces from 1987 onwards can be found at the local courthouse that issued the divorce. Most indexes for divorces issued between 1981 and 1986 are housed with the archives, but not all. The table at the end of this guidance document includes contact info, and indicates whether divorce records from 1981 to 1986 remain with this courthouse or have been sent to the Archives. Note that while the Archives of Ontario will not do your research for you, they have research archivists that would be happy to help you. You can phone them at 1-800-668-9933, or email them at reference@ontario.ca.

Obtaining your Ontario Divorce Order or Certificate of Divorce

Once you know the issuing courthouse, the file number and the year of the divorce, you contact the Archives or the appropriate courthouse to request your divorce documents. If you are requesting your divorce documents from an Ontario courthouse there will be a $24 charge. If you are requesting divorce documents from the Archives you will be charged per page.

Can you get my Ontario divorce documents for me?

We are happy to give you the information you need to get your own divorce documents. We are also happy to obtain your Ontario divorce documents on your behalf if you prefer. Contact us to discuss your specific requirements.

I need to present my divorce documents in a foreign country. Can you apostille them for me?

At International Documents Canada, we specialize in navigating the Canadian apostille process on behalf of our clients. This process is used to certify the authenticity of a Canadian document, such as a Divorce Order or Certificate of Divorce, so that it will be officially recognized in another country. Note that the Canadian apostille process is also called “document authentication and legalization“.

If you need to present your Ontario divorce documents in a foreign country we can handle the entire process, from ordering the divorce documents to having them authenticated and legalized (the Canadian apostille process). When you contact us, we’ll explain the Canadian apostille process, answer any questions you have, and clearly explain your options. Our friendly experts are here to help. Phone us toll-free at 1-888-433-1011 or submit our quick form and we’ll get right back to you.