The simple answer is: not necessarily. If there are no assets, no children, and fairly similar incomes, one could get divorced without using counsel.
But having said that, it’s always best to consult with a lawyer, especially if there are children. The Supreme Court is required under the Divorce Act to make sure that if there are children, reasonable arrangements are made for those children. A lawyer can certainly help clients with that. So, in short, it can be done, but it’s best to consult with counsel to make sure of your rights.
Danny Zack is a partner who practices family law and collaborative law with Kahn Zack Ehrlich Lithwick in Richmond, BC. He has represented the Ministry of Children and Family Development (and its predecessors) in doing child-protection work since 1975.