If you disagree to a divorce, you have to file a Memorandum of Appearance within 8 days of receiving the divorce papers
Can I Oppose My Spouse’s Divorce Application?
While one party to a marriage may desire a divorce, it is not always the case where his or her spouse agrees to the same. As such, if your spouse unilaterally files for a divorce, you can oppose his or her divorce application, provided that you follow the right procedure. Here are some pointers:
1. Do not ignore the application
If you ignore your spouse’s application, your spouse can proceed with the divorce unilaterally by applying for a substitution or dispensation of service. Thereafter, the Court may decide the case without you. Even without your presence at the Court hearing, your marriage can still be legally dissolved with orders made on the children, assets and maintenance. The divorce process will continue in your absence if you choose to ignore the divorce papers.
2. File the necessary papers to oppose the application
If you disagree to a divorce, you have to file a Memorandum of Appearance within 8 days of receiving the divorce papers stating your intention to contest the matter and after which, you have to file a Defence, stating why your spouse’s claim is not true. If you merely disagree with your spouse’s claim on the ancillary matters, you should file the Memorandum of Appearance indicating which issues you are contesting, so that the Court can adjudged on the various issues after the marriage has been dissolved.
Thereafter, you will need to file your Defence stating the factual grounds why you disagree with your spouse’s filing for a divorce.
If your spouse insists on proceeding with the divorce even after mediation, the matter will proceed for trial. At the trial, you and your spouse will be examined by counsel and the judge. The judge will, after hearing evidence and arguments from lawyers, make a decision on whether your wife’s divorce should be allowed or dismissed.