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Desk Order Divorce: A Simpler Approach To Divorce In BC

Desk Order Divorce: A Simpler Approach to Divorce in BC

Post Series: Family Law

Within 50 years of marriage, an estimated 40% of unions will culminate in divorce. The Covid-19 pandemic has only amplified these unfortunate numbers. Although many partners navigate the divorce process amicably, the legal aspects and court appearances can generate unique challenges. Under the British Columbia Family Law Act, couples who have settled the terms of their divorce can avoid a Supreme Court appearance for a divorce order by opting for a desk order divorce.

What is a Desk Order Divorce?

Desk order divorces have become increasingly popular among couples due to their faster, more affordable, and simpler nature compared to the conventional divorce process. They can be an expedited route to legal divorce, even for couples with children. Partners can file for divorce, assemble and submit proof of their agreed terms and plans for child support, and receive a divorce order without attending court. This procedure is ideal for couples who have already finalized their divorce terms privately.

Is This Type of Divorce Agreement Suited to My Situation?

Couples who have amicably worked through their separation and divorce, agreeing on all terms, can save time and money through a desk order divorce. This method is not suitable for high-conflict situations or partners who have not officially agreed on their divorce terms. So, before initiating the desk order divorce process, both parties should fully understand and consent to the divorce terms. Detailed, signed documents addressing these matters should be provided as evidence to the court. Agreements must include:

Couples who work cooperatively on their divorce can save time and money while simplifying their divorce process.
  • Division of personal and marital assets
  • Spousal support payments
  • Custody and parenting of children (if applicable)

Couples with children must present comprehensive care agreements. In divorce cases, courts require proof of thorough financial support arrangements for children, upholding a high standard for child welfare.

Things to Consider When Filing

It is crucial to recognize that a desk order divorce should not be considered a DIY or ‘Do-It-Yourself’ route. It’s important to consider that most applications submitted without legal assistance are rejected due to incorrect completion. Further, people often underestimate the level of detail demanded by the court, resulting in surprise and inconvenience when their application is denied. If the submitted documents fail to meet court standards, couples may be required to provide additional evidence or appear before a judge, undermining the advantages of pursuing a desk order divorce. For further information on the filing process, read our article on the process for filing in British Columbia. For more details on the process of filing, read our post on how desk order divorces work in BC.

If you think your situation could be simplified by a desk order divorce, or need advice on documents you’ve already prepared, contact our experienced family lawyer, Jim Monier-Williams today.

Have a question about this topic or a different legal topic? Contact us for a free consultation. Reach us via phone at 250-888-0002, or via email at

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