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Opposed Divorces Can Become Unopposed
Opposed Divorces are created by Spouses failing to reach such agreements as discussed below. Consequently another process must be followed which can be incredibly lengthy and costly and many have been known to go on for years. Such situations can also cause the health of the Spouses to deteriorate and can result in additional expenditure in the form of Doctors and Clinical Psychologists, etc.
If the Spouses stop fighting and reach a compromise; once they have signed their Settlement Agreement it is possible for the Opposed Divorce to become an Unopposed Divorce. The matter can then easily be transferred to the Unopposed Roll at the Court and dealt with as below, at a much lesser cost.
These happen because both Spouses have managed to reach an agreement. This is in regarding to not just the Divorce but also many other factors including but not limited to:
Division of Assets
Primary Residence (Custody) of the Minor Children
Contact (Access) re the Minor Children
The above matters are formalised by being contained in a Settlement Agreement which both Spouses sign acceptance thereof. This done, the divorce will be set down on the Court Roll for hearing – often within a few weeks of the Agreement being reach and formalised. When the divorce is heard in Court the Settlement Agreement becomes made an Order of Court and obviates any future disagreements or confusion. Although you can do this yourselves, it is preferable to use the services of a Specialist Divorce Attorney who, because of their expertise can often help to finalise the Divorce in a smoother and more efficient manner whilst still taking care of yours and your children’s futures.
Involve a Combined Divorce Summons and Particulars of Claim (all the requirements and suggestions of who gets what and when and how much, etc) being served on one of the Spouses (the Defendant) by the other Spouse (the Plaintiff) who launches the Divorce Action. This action is launched by consulting with Specialist Divorce Attorneys who will then act on behalf of the Plaintiff. They will draft the above mentioned document and it must be served personally on the Defendant, by the Sheriff. After the Defendant has been served; they are given 10 working days to respond.
The thing of it is, only when you receive that response from the Defendant, will you actually know whether your Divorce will be Opposed or Unopposed.
The Defendant will instruct their own Attorney, who will probably respond to the Summons with the Defendant’s counter claims.
The Plaintiff and the Defendant will then negotiate – through their Attorneys – to settle their disputes and reach an agreement.
Whilst this continues, the Divorce will be known as Opposed, but once a Settlement Agreement has been reached and formalised, the Divorce can then be changed to Unopposed.
Once the Divorce becomes Unopposed, only one of the Spouses need attend Court with their Attorney, and the matter is finalised with a short space of five or so minutes.
However, if the Spouses (Parties) cannot settle their differences; it is only then that the matter will be heard in a Court where both Spouses will need to be present, together with their Attorneys and Advocates. In such situations the Trial could go on for days and the final decisions are made by a Judge.