Uncontested divorces

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When a divorce is ‘uncontested,’ this usually means that you and your spouse have agreed on everything such as parenting arrangements (custody and access or visitation), support issues, and division of property, pensions and debts.

Divorces are uncontested when they are filed as:

  • a Joint Application for Divorce
  • an Application for Divorce by Written Agreement
  • a Petition for Divorce, where the other party (the ‘respondent’) does not respond by filing an ‘Answer’ within the required time. The person who filed the petition (the ‘petitioner’) can then file a document asking that the divorce go ahead on an uncontested basis.

If the divorce is started as a Petition, and the other party files an Answer to contest the divorce, you and your spouse can still continue to negotiate and try to reach an agreement between yourselves. You can do this between yourselves, or with the help of professionals like lawyers or a mediator. If you reach an agreement, the spouse who filed the Answer can withdraw it, and you can usually then proceed with the divorce on an uncontested basis.

When your divorce is uncontested, you will not go to court for a trial. Your file will get reviewed and processed ‘behind the scenes’ by court staff and a judge.