An uncontested divorce is a divorce where, either both parties agree to the divorce, or one of the parties does not oppose the divorce.
The process of obtaining an uncontested divorce, or a joint divorce, involves the drafting, signing and filing of the applicable forms, and the payment of the applicable fees to the Minister of Finance. From the date of the finalization of the divorce documents to the receipt of the final divorce order, typically takes approximately ninety (90) days. The Family Law Court sends the divorce order to each party directly by regular mail.
Though no lawyer is technically required, obtaining an uncontested or joint divorce can often be more complicated than one would think. One of the documents which must be drafted, sworn and filed is the affidavit of divorce. This document requires the parties to make certain representations. If, for instance, there are unresolved property issues, or if the parties agrees that child support would be an amount lower than that provided by the Child Support Guidelines, the court will deny the granting of the divorce order. The reasoning, particularly when it comes to child support, is that child support is the right of the child, thus parents cannot contract out of a right which is not theirs.
I personally find this particular policy unfortunate as it creates an opportunity for conflict, and litigation, where the parties are in accord. With the overwhelming amount of litigation in the family courts, it is unfortunate that courts to do not encourage parties to structure agreements they find fair and suitable.
A contested divorce is one where one of the parties does not consent to the divorce being issued.
Typically, the only ground under which one can oppose a divorce is if issues relating to support, or property division have not been resolved.
When the term contested divorce is used in practice, it is often meant to designate cases where the parties were married to one another and they resort to the courts for the determination of a given issue, such as custody, access, property division and so on.
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