Married couples who have been able to cooperatively come to an agreement on how to resolve their affairs on marriage breakdown can get a divorce by way of an “uncontested”, “documents only”, or “default” divorce.

These divorces do not require any attendance at the court hence their other name “desk” divorce.

Petition for Divorce – Typically in uncontested divorces the only relief sought is the Divorce itself as the parties will have resolved everything else with or without a Separation Agreement. The party who files the Petition for Divorce is referred to as the Petitioner and sees the divorce through from start to finish.  A marriage certificate must also be filed.

Service – The Petition for Divorce must be served on the Respondent, ie the person who didn’t file, but not by the Petitioner. The Respondent has 20 days if they reside in Manitoba to respond. If they do not respond within 20 days they are “noted in default”.

Central Divorce Registry – Once the marriage certificate is filed with the court it is sent to Ottawa to clear the Central Divorce Registry (“CDR”). Typically it takes 6 to 8 weeks for the CDR certificate to issue.

Affidavit of Petitioner’s Evidence – The Petitioner must swear an Affidavit, written testimony, to give the court the evidence it needs, such as when the parties were married, whether they have children and whether they have a Separation Agreement, to grant the divorce without the need for an oral hearing.

Hearing Date – Once the Petition for Divorce has been served, the time to respond has passed, the CDR certificate has been received and the Affidavit of Petitioner’s Evidence has been sworn then the Petitioner is in a position to get a hearing date. A hearing date is set, usually one month after the Affidavit has been filed. On the hearing date a judge reviews all of the material and, if he/she is satisfied that everything is in order, the divorce is granted.