A divorce can arise in many ways, sometimes both parties agree to separate and sometimes one party asks to separate to the surprise of the other. Whether or not both parties actually want to get a divorce, if one party is seeking a divorce, they are able to apply for and eventually receive it. An uncontested divorce is when the parties both agree on how all outstanding issues are to be dealt with.
The number of issues to be resolved prior to receiving a divorce varies from one family to another. If there are children of the marriage, and they are still children of the marriage pursuant to the Divorce Act, then the parties need to resolve custody and parenting arrangements for the children. Child support is also an issue that needs to be resolved prior to being granted the divorce. Some families will have property or spousal support (also known as alimony) to determine a resolution for prior to a court granting the parties a divorce.
If there is an agreement on all of these issues, then the parties can apply for an uncontested divorce. Uncontested divorces are often cheaper and quicker, as little to no further negotiation is required to resolve the outstanding issues that are barring the granting of a divorce. The parties also avoid having to litigate any matters in court. However, applying for an uncontested divorce can still be complicated and it is always recommended that you receive legal advice prior to applying for a divorce to ensure you are aware of what you are entitled to. By choosing to not seek legal advice, you may later be barred from bringing a claim against your former spouse if you later learn that you did not receive all you were entitled to.
If you and your spouse are not able to resolve all outstanding issues, engaging with lawyers or mediators can help you and your spouse resolve the remaining issues and put you on the path towards receiving a fair and timely divorce.
Written by Michael Ross