Tuesday, 8 April 2014
Implied agreement to divorce
Q: I want a divorce, but my husband says that he will not sign any divorce papers; what can I do?
A: Many people believe that a divorce requires the express agreement of both parties, but this is not true. The person filing for the divorce (the petitioner) does NOT need the express agreement of the person who has the opportunity to respond (the respondent) to the divorce petition/application.
When the petitioner makes the application, the respondent must be served, and if the person's home address is unknown, or s/he lives outside of Trinidad & Tobago, an additional application for substituted service is required. Substituted service can involve service to a person's work address, a close family member, a newspaper advertisement, e-mail, or even Facebook (as was the case in Canada). A tracking number is all the proof required to prove that constructive notice was given via substituted service.
When the respondent is served with the document outlining the grounds for divorce (the particulars), s/he then has the opportunity to deny the allegations (contest the divorce), agree with the allegations (uncontested divorce) or do nothing (implied uncontested divorce). In the latter, when the petitioner shows up to the hearing, and the respondent, having been probably notified, refused to acknowledge the matter, the hearing will continue, and the Judge will still proceed to grant the divorce nisi decree.
Many simple divorces (no children or property to separate) are dealt with via ex parte decrees.
If the marriage isn't working, don't think that you have to stay because the other party is using that to hold you hostage.