What Is Uncontested Divorce
An uncontested divorce means a divorce in which both parties agree to apply for divorce.
An uncontested divorce in Australia usually occurs when the spouses file a joint application for divorce, or when the respondent to a sole application for divorce readily signs their required paperwork. In many ways, an uncontested divorce goes more swiftly and smoothly than a contested divorce.
If a joint application is filed, the spouses do not need to go to their court hearing, even if there are children of the marriage (although the court must be satisfied that suitable arrangements have been made for the children).
Serving the divorce is also not required in a joint application. When a person makes a sole application for divorce, they must serve the divorce application on their spouse, who must then respond with a signed acknowledgement of service. The respondent may delay their signing of the acknowledgement of service or choose not to sign it at all.
They are entitled to file a response to the divorce. The sole applicant may, however, apply to the court for an order that renders the respondent’s signature unnecessary.
When a sole application for divorce is made, attending the court hearing is compulsory if there are children of the marriage aged under 18. It is important to be aware that an uncontested divorce does not necessarily mean that all other matters have been agreed upon. Either spouse may apply for financial orders, property orders or parenting orders if no agreements can be made outside of court.
However, an uncontested divorce makes it more likely that other forms of dispute resolution, such as mediation, will be successful. Only a very small percentage of cases go to court.