However, in some circumstances, it may be appropriate to defend (dispute) divorce proceedings.
Some common reasons for this are as follows.
Delaying the divorce process
In certain situations, some Respondents may wish to give their spouse time to reflect and maybe reconsider the divorce. The Respondent may, therefore, choose to defend proceedings temporarily before dissolving their marriage.
Defending against untrue allegations
In many instances, a Respondent may disagree with the contents of a divorce petition. This is especially applicable where these allegations have a bearing on any financial settlements or child arrangements.
Defending a divorce so that the Respondent can cross-petition
A Respondent has the right to issue their own petition for divorce to the court. This can be due to a matter of principle, or because they believe the pleaded grounds for divorce are inaccurate. For example, a petitioner could have alleged that the marriage has broken down as a result of adultery, but the Respondent may believe that the marriage has broken down due to unreasonable behaviour.
Defending a divorce can have serious cost implications, and is therefore not a decision to be taken lightly.