What is the difference between an Opposed Divorce and an Unopposed Divorce?

An unopposed divorce (also known as an uncontested divorce) is a divorce where the spouses agree regarding all the material terms of the divorce.

This includes agreement regarding the material terms of divorce:

Minor children’s primary residence.
Contact between the parent that does not have a primary residence and the minor children.
Child maintenance.
Spousal maintenance.
Division of assets.

The benefits of an Unopposed Divorce are mainly that the unopposed divorce can be finalized in a matter of weeks while the cost of an unopposed divorce is much lower than that of a contested divorce.

The general process in an unopposed divorce can be summarized as follows:

Issuing of summons with the settlement agreement attached.
Family Advocate endorsement (for minor children).
Apply for a court date.
Hearing (court) date and finalization of matter to obtain a decree of divorce.

An opposed divorce (also known as an uncontested divorce) is a divorce where the spouses are not in agreement regarding one or more material terms of the divorce.  Even if the spouses agree to most of the divorce terms, but they cannot reach an agreement regarding one or more aspects of the divorce, then the divorce will be an opposed divorce.

Say, the spouses agree on all the terms of the agreement, except for how much child maintenance will be payable, then the divorce will be an opposed divorce.

Opposed divorces can take years to get finalized, as one must conduct litigation, and the matter must be placed before the court, for the court to decide and supply a judgement.

Parties may agree to mediate their divorce, and if mediation is successful, then the opposed divorce can become an unopposed divorce.

Similarly, the parties’ divorce attorneys can assist with negotiations, and if the parties then agree to all the material terms, then the opposed divorce will become unopposed.

The general process in an opposed divorce can be summarized as follows:

Issuing of summons
Exchange of pleadings and notices, including the process of discovery.
Pre-Trial Conference
Trial
Judgment

 

 

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