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How to Serve Divorce Papers in Canada?

How to Serve Divorce Papers in Canada?

Divorce is not easy, whether it is mutual or not. There are many things to consider, tackle, and do to get the whole job done properly. For example, if the divorce is not mutual, there are the lawyer’s fees, going to trial, etc.

If there is a child involved, then the questions and conflicts of child custody and support, etc. are also there. But staying in a loveless or abusive marriage is far too tricky for both partners.

However, one of the divorce rules is to serve divorce papers to your spouse to let them know your decision. Today, we will discuss the process, importance, rules, and regulations. Keep on reading!

How to Serve Divorce Paper in Canada?

Getting a divorce is a very reasonable and very long process. From many of the processes, serving the divorce paper to your spouse is the first thing you need to be concerned about.

In Canada, there are many rules and regulations regarding serving divorce papers. Let us discuss their ins and outs for you.

What is Serving Divorce Paper?

According to the divorce law, the word ‘serve’ is to inform the other partner that you have launched a case according to your accusation in court.

So, serving someone a divorce paper means you inform the other partner that you no longer want to do anything with them or the marriage. You are telling the person that you are now starting the divorce process.

Where Can You Get Divorce Papers in Saskatchewan?

In Saskatchewan, Canada, to obtain divorce papers, you’ll need to follow specific steps and acquire the necessary forms. Here’s a general overview:

To file for divorce in Saskatchewan, you or your spouse must have been a resident of the province for at least one year immediately before starting the divorce proceedings. The primary form needed is the “Joint Application for Divorce” or “Statement of Claim for Divorce” form, depending on whether the divorce is being pursued mutually or by one spouse. These forms can be obtained online through the Saskatchewan Courts website or in person at a courthouse.

After completing the forms, they must be filed with the Court of Queen’s Bench. You can do this by submitting them in person at the courthouse or by mail, along with the required filing fee. After the forms are served, there’s a waiting period before the divorce can be finalized. This waiting period varies, but typically, it’s around 30 days. Once the waiting period is over, if there are no disputes and all necessary steps have been followed, a judge will review the documents and, if satisfied, grant the divorce.

What Kind of Documents Did You Need to Serve?

There are certain documents you need to serve your partner before the procedure starts to continue. Such as-

  • The photocopy of the copy of your case that you have launched asking for a divorce
  • The photocopy of the court summons. Remember, you have to keep the original copy of the summons. After your spouse is served with the divorce file, you need to return the copy to the court.
  • Additionally, if you filed a Joint Preliminary Injunction, then another copy of the paper needs to be sent.

Ensure all required information is accurately filled in the forms, including details about both spouses, grounds for divorce, arrangements for children (if applicable), and any agreements regarding property or support. This can be tricky, and it’s a good idea to get help from a lawyer in Saskatchewan. They can make sure things go smoothly and help you understand what needs to be done.

When to Serve the Paperwork?

There are certain papers to serve before proceeding with the matter. If your divorce notice is not served within 120 days to your spouse, the case will be dismissed.

But for certain reasons, if you are unable to serve the paper within 120 days, the time can be extended with the court’s permission.

Who can Serve the Other Spouse?

You need to choose someone neutral in your case. They need to be at least 18 years old or older. If you cannot find that kind of neutral person for you to serve, you can always ask for the help of your town’s sheriff or private service. They will do the job with utter carefulness.

Now, there can be a question of whether you can serve the paper on your own. The answer is yes; you can serve the paper. If filing alone, you’ll need to serve the filed forms to your spouse. If it’s a joint application, both spouses will sign and file the forms together. That means, if the divorce is mutual, you can do that on your own.

How to serve?

If you are doing the whole paperwork all by yourself, you may want to go through the process-

1. Acceptance of the service

The divorce paper will be delivered to your spouse within 120 days. According to the law, you can deliver it (if your spouse does not have any problems). If that is not possible, some other neutral person older than 18 can serve the paper.

After the service, the spouse needs to verify the petition by sending the service’s acceptance with the necessary signature.

2. First-class Mail

Via the first-class mail system, you need to send it with the acknowledgment letter. If the letter is not returned within the right time, which is 120 days, you need to consider another process for serving the paperwork.

3. Certified mail

While you are sending the paper, you can attach the return receipt as proof of getting the papers. When your spouse receives the papers, the receipt will automatically be returned to you as proof. It works when your spouse is far away from you and may not have the facility to ensure you get the mail.

4. Service from the sheriff

When you have no option of sending the paper personally or via mail and still cannot find any neutral person to serve, the town sheriff is on the rescue. A proof of service form will be filled out by the person in charge and sent to the court later.

5. By publication

When all the processes fail, you can publish the news in the newspaper. The newspaper should be published in the area where your spouse is most likely to be living.

A newspaper that is going to be available for them to read. After the public announcement, you need to send a copy with a signature to the court stating that you have published the news in the newspaper.

Remember, it is only valid when all the other processes have failed. Otherwise, this announcement will not be taken into consideration. You will have to do the process all over again.

What If you cannot Find the Defendant?

If you have no idea where your spouse lives and do not have any other way to inform him, then you can use social media or email to notify them. Remember, you need to show a copy of the email or social media as proof of your notification.

Why Serving Divorce Paper is Important?

Divorce can happen for many reasons. It can be both of the person’s problems or only one of them. But one way or another, you cannot just go to trial for divorce. The other partner needs to know about the reason beforehand so that both parties are well aware of what is going on in their marriage.

Ask for Help From the Legal Advisor

It will be very reasonable if you get help from a divorce lawyer before doing the paperwork. The lawyer should supervise the whole process so as not to get logically cheated by the other party’s lawyer.


Divorce is a long and tiresome process. But there is no scope for the mistake. To avoid mistakes, serving the divorce paper is a must. By doing this, you can avoid any further arguments before the honorable court.

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