Ontario Attorney General Yasir Naqvi indicated at a recent event of the Law Society of Upper Canada that the province was considering allowing the electronic filing of divorce applications.
Since taking up the post of Attorney General in June of last year, Naqvi has identified improving the use of technology by the courts as a priority for him. Speaking to the Canadian Press, Naqvi said he wanted to make the system more effective and user-friendly. “I’m from a generation where technology is a way of living,” said Naqvi, “Our justice system is obviously based on a very rich foundation of tradition. What I would like to do is find ways to introduce more technological solutions.”
Digitization has already been introduced to the Ontario Small Claims Courts. A move towards allowing the e-filing of divorce applications could increase efficiency and improve access to judicial services in this province.
However, there are potential issues to consider. For example, filing for divorce would trigger the beginning of a limitation period under the Family Law Act during which an equalization payment can be claimed from your ex-spouse. Parties will need to mindful that clicking ‘submit’ online can impact access to important rights.
It will be interesting to see if Ontario takes this step and continues to work towards modernizing its court systems.
If you are considering starting the divorce process, or have any family law related issues, contact our office. We can arrange a consultation for you and provide you with sound advice and skilled representation during what can be a trying time.