An unopposed (uncontested) divorce is where both parties, prior to issue of divorce Summons, have agreed to the terms of divorce and signed a Settlement Agreement recording these terms. The signed and witnessed Settlement Agreement is then attached to the divorce Summons which is served on the Defendant party.
After a period of 10 days has elapsed, the divorce is enrolled on the unopposed divorce court roll for hearing, normally on a week or two’s notice. If there are any minor children born of the marriage, the Office of the Family Advocate are required to endorse the Settlement Agreement, however normally this is a mere formality where the parties have agreed to the terms of settlement and takes approximately 48 hours.
The matter is enrolled as an unopposed motion, and only the Plaintiff party need appear in court on the day, represented by one of our professional Divorce Law counsel. The original Deed of Settlement is handed up to the judge at the hearing of the matter. Our counsel then lead the Plaintiff party in evidence so as to satisfy the court that the marriage has indeed broken down irretrievably and that it cannot be salvaged, as well as to satisfy the court that the Settlement Agreement bears the signatures of both parties and is a legitimate document.
The judge then grants the Decree of Divorce and the order is also to the effect that the signed Settlement Agreement is simultaneously made an order of court, so that it can be given effect to after the divorce. This process normally takes 4 – 6 weeks.