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Court Divorce - Three Possible Responses To A Divorce Application

This week, our blog continues a mega-series on the basics of court divorce. Our last post looked at one of the first steps in the process - in which one party serves documents to his or her ex-partner. The applicant in the case officially informs the other side - the respondent - of what he or she is asking a judge to decide on. Documents and information are disclosed, and the former party can then decide how to respond to the applicant's claims. What happens next?

When The Respondent Is A No-Show

After being served, the respondent has 30 days to agree, disagree or make an additional claim in the divorce case. In the ideal scenario, the respondent doesn't respond at all. The judge then makes a decision based on the applicant's documents and evidence. The applicant walks away with a valid court order, and the case is closed. Of course, divorce rarely goes this smoothly.

When The Respondent Agrees

The next best outcome happens when the ex-partner agrees with the applicant's claims. The two parties can then set out their terms in a separation agreement - no approval required by the judge. Although not mandatory, the parties are wise to file their agreement with the court to ensure enforceability in future.

When The Respondent Disagrees

Things can get more complicated when a respondent disagrees or decides to add new claims. In either of these situations, both parties are required to attend a Mandatory Information Program before the case can move forward. Stay tuned as we provide a snapshot of this program in our next post.

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