A Writ of Divorce is the document that the initiator of the divorce must first file in Court, in order for divorce proceedings to be formally commenced against his/her spouse. In addition, the general rule is that the Writ of Divorce must also be personally served on the errant spouse for it to be effective, although under certain circumstances (such as where the errant spouse cannot be located) the Court may choose to dispense with this requirement.
What is a Statement of Claim?
A Statement of Claim is a document that lists the essential information of the case, in particular highlighting the facts relied upon for establishing irretrievable breakdown of the marriage as per section 95(3) of the Women’s Charter, and the relief claimed (which will include ancillary matters).
What is a Statement of Particulars?
A Statement of Particulars is used to clarify paragraph 6 of the Statement of Claim, thereby allowing the Plaintiff to provide a more in-depth explanation of the reasons behind the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. It is usually accompanied by the parties’ marriage certificate, as well as a declaration to the effect that neither party is a bankrupt.
What is a Memorandum of Appearance?
A Memorandum of Appearance is filed by the Defendant as a means of indicating that he/she is intending to defend the claim initiated by the Plaintiff. The Defendant must enter his appearance within 8 days of being served with the divorce papers, and will be granted 22 days from the date of service of the divorce papers to file and serve his Defence and Counterclaim.
What is a Defence?
A Defence is the primary means for a Defendant to respond to the allegations made against him/her by the Plaintiff in the latter’s Statement of Particulars. In general, a Defence will consist of a direct response to every paragraph of the Statement of Particulars, where the Defendant will choose to either accept, deny, or not admit the allegations made, providing brief explanations as to his decisions. In many cases, a Defence will be followed by a Counterclaim, which essentially allows the Defendant to establish his/her case against the Plaintiff, thereby affording the Defendant the opportunity to have the marriage dissolved on his/her terms.