Supreme Court — Sole application

How to do your own undefended (uncontested) divorce

Who this guide is for

This guide will help you through a simple, undefended divorce (also called an uncontested divorce) if you want to apply for divorce and your spouse won't oppose any of the things you're asking for, including child support. This guide will show you how to prepare and file the necessary documents.

Is this guide for you?

YES if all of the following statements are true

You want to file for divorce in BC.

You and your spouse agree about getting a divorce or your spouse won't oppose your application.

You've settled all your family law issues.
In other words, both of you agree about (or at least your spouse won't oppose what you're asking for) or you already have written agreements or orders for:

  • parenting,
  • child and spousal support, and
  • how to divide your property and debts.

One of you has lived in BC for at least one year before you start your divorce and will live in BC throughout the divorce

You've been separated for at least one year

NO if any of the following statements are true

One of you doesn't agree to the divorce.

You haven't resolved all your family law issues related to parenting, support, and property.

One of you wants to claim for divorce on the grounds of cruelty or adultery.

Your divorce has become complicated.

What do I do if this guide isn't for me?

Read Contested divorce in our Divorce fact sheet for more information about what to do instead.

If your divorce starts off simple but later becomes complicated because disagreements about the divorce arise, or you want to apply for a divorce on the grounds of adultery or cruelty, consult a family law lawyer.

If you and your spouse don't agree about parenting, support, and/or property, use one of our other self-help guides to apply for court orders before you apply for a divorce.

What if I want to divide property or debts?

See our fact sheet How to divide property and debts for more information. After you read that, if you think that dividing your property and debts is going to be complicated, consider getting some legal advice. Also consider making a separation agreement before filing for an uncontested divorce.

Be aware that if you don't make any claims involving spousal support or property and debt division now and you decide later on that you want to make them, you'll only have two years from the date of the divorce.

Important: Don't give up any claims that you may have for property or assets just to keep your divorce simple. Remember that property and assets can include many things, such as pensions or RRSPs. Get advice from a family law lawyer.

Where to get help

If you can't afford a lawyer, there are other ways to get legal help, including the Lawyer Referral Service, pro bono (free) clinics, family duty counsel, family advice lawyers, or family justice counsellors. In Nanaimo, Victoria, and Vancouver, staff at Justice Access Centres can also answer your questions and help you fill out forms. See Who can help? for more information about all these options.

If you want the help of a mediator and need your spouse to attend a mediation session, see Making mediation happen in a family law case in Supreme Court.