What Is a Divorce Registry, and Why Should I Create One?

Navigating life after divorce? A divorce registry is your helping hand. Think of it as a bridge to your fresh start, inviting friends and family to support you in tangible ways. From essential household items to legal document aid, setting up a divorce registry is simple, yet its impact is profound. This guide will walk you through the smart steps to take as you embrace your new independence with confidence.

Key Takeaways

  • A divorce registry is a wish list created to help individuals transition after divorce, with platforms like Divorcist and Plumfund facilitating the process, and it can also be featured at a celebratory divorce party.
  • A divorce registry aids in legal proceedings by ensuring all necessary documentation is at hand, offering benefits like claims to financial assets, spousal or child support, and protection of legal rights, particularly for women.
  • To create a divorce registry for legal proceedings, one must follow proper protocol with the Central Registry of Divorce Proceedings, using accurate and updated forms, while personal divorce registries should contain essential financial and personal documents.


Understanding Divorce Registry

A divorce registry is essentially a wish list of items that an individual may need as they start their life post-divorce. It offers a non-confrontational way for individuals to communicate their needs to friends and family, easing the transition into their new life stage. In light of the divorce act, this registry can be a helpful tool for those navigating the legal process and its aftermath.

Assembling a divorce registry can be an enjoyable and therapeutic process. Online platforms like Divorcist and Plumfund have made the creation and management of such lists quite straightforward. Alternatively, physical retail stores such as Target or Walmart also offer the service, catering to those who prefer a more traditional route.

While online registries offer a wider selection and often lower prices, brick-and-mortar registries provide a tactile shopping experience for gift-givers. Thus, the decision between an online and physical registry boils down to both you and your individual preferences and needs.

Interestingly, a divorce registry can also be paired with a divorce party, a gathering similar to a bridal shower or baby shower. This allows friends and family to celebrate the individual’s new chapter, turning a potentially challenging time into an occasion of support and camaraderie.


Benefits of Creating a Divorce Registry

Creating a divorce registry can be particularly empowering for women. It ensures that they have the necessary documentation to assert their legal rights during and after the divorce process. A properly registered divorce can enable women to:

  • Claim financial assets
  • Claim spousal or child support, thereby providing them economic security post-separation
  • Protect women’s inheritance rights
  • Help recognize only legally-consented marriages

Challenges such as unrecognized customary or Islamic marriages under certain legal systems can be mitigated through improved divorce registration. Thus, a well-structured divorce registry can help overcome barriers that prevent women from exercising their legal rights and achieving justice, as seen in the implementation of the Civil Marriage Act for those who are legally married.


How to Create a Divorce Registry

Creating a divorce registry involves a few key steps. The Central Registry of Divorce Proceedings maintains records of divorce applications in the country and informs courts of any duplicate divorce proceedings involving the same spouses.

When a court receives a divorce application, it must complete a registration application and send it to the Central Registry within seven days of filing the divorce proceeding. As of March 1, 2021, a new registration application form for the Central Registry of Divorce Proceedings must be used, in line with amendments to the CRDP Regulations.

The Central Registry advises that all fields of the registration application should be carefully reviewed for accuracy before printing.

To retrieve information on another person’s divorce from the Registry, one must have a lawful reason or the consent of one of the parties and submit a written request using a search request form, specifically the Search Request and Consent Form. This is especially important for those who are looking to apply for a divorce themselves and need to gather necessary information. It may be beneficial to seek legal advice in this process.


Items to Include in Your Divorce Registry

A well-assembled divorce registry includes a comprehensive list of essential items. Some important documents to include are:

  • Bank statements
  • Employment documents
  • Investment account statements
  • Income tax papers
  • Debt records

These documents provide a clear picture of your financial status and history, a necessary aspect of divorce proceedings involving your former spouse.

Investment statements, too, are important to disclose during the divorce process. They give a clear picture of financial investments, which can play a significant role in asset division.

Child support documents should also be included in your divorce registry to facilitate an accurate child custody agreement. Personal documents, such as prenuptial or postnuptial agreements, are important for asset division, and details regarding previous marriages and the current marriage can expedite the divorce process. Obtaining a divorce certificate is a crucial step in finalizing the legal separation agreement.


Common Misconceptions About Divorce Registries

There are several misconceptions about divorce registries that need to be addressed. One prevalent misconception is that adultery can influence the amount of spousal support. However, unfaithful behavior does not factor into determining support payment levels.

Another common misunderstanding is the belief that grandparents have an inherent right to see their grandchildren. In reality, the court rules on access based on the best interest of the child, which may or may not include grandparent visitation rights.

Some individuals mistakenly believe that moving out of the marital home can lead to a more peaceful divorce. In reality, this action could harm one’s custody claims and appear as abandonment of family responsibilities, making it crucial to consult with a family law expert.

There’s also a misconception that lawyers complicate the divorce process unnecessarily, while in reality, a good lawyer can help ensure that agreements comply with federal law and are fair, especially in cases of an uncontested divorce.


Divorce registries, or Fresh Start Registries, are a means to support individuals transitioning into a new phase of life after a marriage ends. They allow friends and family to assist a divorcee by providing household items and essentials that may be needed after the division of shared assets.

The decision to create an online divorce registry versus a brick-and-mortar one depends on individual preferences and the anticipated shopping habits of the divorcee’s network. Regardless of the chosen method, a divorce registry is a practical and supportive tool for individuals navigating the complexities of divorce.



In conclusion, a divorce registry is a practical tool that facilitates the divorce process, ensuring individuals have the necessary items to start afresh. It empowers women, ensures the assertion of their legal rights, and helps overcome legal challenges. Whether set up online or at a physical store, a divorce registry can provide a non-confrontational way for individuals to communicate their needs to their support network, helping them transition into their new life stage with ease and dignity.


Frequently Asked Questions

Can you look up divorces in Canada?

To look up divorces in Canada, you can contact the Central Registry of Divorce Proceedings (CRDP), which holds records of divorce filings from July 1968 onwards. The CRDP can provide you with specific court, file number, and year of a divorce case.

How do you check if you are divorced?

To check if you are divorced, it is best to visit the courthouse in person. Most courthouses have public records computer terminals where you can search by your name or your ex-spouse’s name, or you can ask the court clerk for assistance in confirming if a divorce has been filed. If you cannot remember which court processed the divorce application, contact the court or the Registry for the necessary information.

Are you automatically divorced after 5 years in Canada?

No, you are not automatically divorced after 5 years in Canada. The minimum requirement for separation in Canada before filing for divorce is one year of evidence of living apart.

Who loses the most in a divorce?

Men typically suffer a larger hit to their standard of living than women in a divorce, losing between 10 and 40% of their income due to various financial responsibilities and expenses. Bloomberg.

How long does it take to get a divorce in Ontario?

In Ontario, a divorce typically takes 4 to 6 months to complete, assuming the process remains straightforward and amicable. Any contested or complicated divorces may take longer to finalize.


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