What is an Uncontested Divorce?


Posted by heritagelaw on Feb 3, 2020 in Blog, Family Law

Did you know that 4 out of 10 first time marriages in Canada end in divorce?

No matter the reason for ending a marriage, most couples seek to do so in a way that is easy and stress free. As long as you and your spouse can be respectful of each other, it is possible to file for an uncontested divorce.

What is an Uncontested Divorce?

Also known as a “simple divorce”, an uncontested divorce describes a divorce situation in which both spouses agree to the end of the marriage and have come to a mutually satisfying agreement regarding settlement.

In an uncontested divorce, both parties have a say in the outcome of the divorce instead of having a judge decide for them.

This means that both spouses have control over aspects of the divorce such as child support, child custody, division of marital property and spousal support.

In this instance of an uncontested divorce, there is no application to appear in court – therefore there is no applicant or defendant. The divorce is simply filed by both parties.

In another instance of uncontested divorce, one spouse (the applicant) files the documents that are served to the other spouse (respondent). If the respondent does not respond to the divorce filings, the court consider the divorce to be uncontested.

The opposite of an uncontested divorce, or contested divorce, occurs when the involved spouses disagree about some or all issues related to the divorce. These cases typically involve lawyers, court hearings and decisions ultimately made by a judge.

An uncontested divorce is an ideal divorce situation.

Can I File for a Divorce Myself? (Or Should I Hire a Lawyer?)

Even if both spouses agree on everything, it is still recommended that you hire a lawyer to be involved in the divorce proceedings.

Are you considering or initiating a divorce from your spouse? Our lawyers at Heritage Law are more than happy to answer any questions you may have. Contact us today!

This is especially true if you have been married for more than 5 years, have one or more minor children together and substantial debts and assets that need to be divided.

A do-it-yourself divorce may be tempting, especially if you know your spouse will be agreeable and you want to save money. What most people don’t know is that the paperwork involved in filing for a divorce yourself are basic and do not address finer details that may need to be addressed.

An experienced lawyer can offer the following benefits when filing for an uncontested divorce:

  • They can bring attention to legal issues not considered by either party in order to avoid disputes, and court, in the future.
  • They can make sure the settlement is documented properly and fill in the gaps that DIY divorce documents do not address.
  • They can review the settlement before it is submitted to the courts.
  • They can make sure your spouse is not trying to take advantage of you.

When it comes to important legal proceedings such as a divorce, it is always best that you contact a lawyer.

The Pros and Cons of an Uncontested Divorce

While an uncontested divorce is an ideal divorce situation, there are some aspects that you should consider.

Again, this is why a lawyer is recommended to help you navigate potential pitfalls.

Cons of an Uncontested Divorce

A history of physical and emotional abuse, as well as abuse of power, in a relationship often leads to one spouse taking advantage of the other. You may feel that the divorce is amicable, but your spouse may be using a position of agreeance to get more out the divorce than they deserve – and taking more away from you than is fair.

Also, it may seem like two spouses are in agreeance regarding settlement but if any arguments do arise during the proceedings on any issue then the divorce becomes a long and drawn out process. If either spouse continues to nit-pick over certain issues, the divorce could end up in court.

Lastly, if a couple decides to file for divorce on their own without the aid of a legal professional, there is a risk that the paperwork may not be filled out properly. Improperly filled out paperwork can lead to issues down the road and the need to take the divorce to court to finalize it properly.

Pros of an Uncontested Divorce

As mentioned previously, an uncontested divorce can be a fairly straightforward and simple procedure if done correctly.

The process of an uncontested divorce is streamlined. This means that overall there is less paperwork and the process is quicker. When done correctly, court hearings are often not necessary.

An uncontested divorce also raises the potential of the marriage ending quietly and with dignity. As long as both parties can come to a mutually satisfying agreement, the divorce can be completed with respect.

This also benefits any children involved in the divorce, since a respectful divorce has less of a psychological impact on children than one that is messy, full of arguments and drawn out longer than necessary.

Overall, an uncontested divorce is the least expensive way of ending a marriage.

Are You Considering a Divorce?

If you feel your marriage must come to an end, and need advice on how to proceed with an uncontested divorce, feel free to contact our expert lawyers at Heritage Law. We can walk you through the process in order to make your divorce easy and respectful.