Family Court of Western Australia

Responding to a divorce application

If you made a sole application for divorce (i.e. it wasn’t a joint application with your spouse), your spouse may respond to the application.

If you have been served with a divorce application, you can file a response. As Australia has no-fault divorce, there are only a few circumstances in which you can file a response. You can file a Response to Divorce if you:

  • oppose the divorce, or
  • disagree with information in the application.

Opposing a divorce

You cannot respond because you oppose the divorce in general, but only if the divorce requirements have not been met. Examples of grounds to oppose the application are if:

  • the parties have not been separated for 12 months, or
  • the court does not have jurisdiction.

If you do not want the divorce granted, you must complete and file a Response to Divorce and appear in person on the hearing date. You need to set out your reasons for opposing the divorce in the Response to Divorce.

You can eFile a Response to Divorce on the Commonwealth Courts Portal or file it at the Registry.

If you file a response, you should attend the divorce hearing. If you do not attend, the Court may decide the divorce application in your absence. If it is difficult for you to attend in person, you may ask the Court to appear by telephone.

Objecting to facts in the application

If you want the divorce granted but disagree with the facts in the Application for Divorce, you may file a Response to Divorce.

You need to state which facts you disagree with in the Response to Divorce. Examples of facts you can object to are incorrect dates of birth or that details of your children are no longer correct. You do not need to attend the hearing if you object to facts but are not opposing the divorce.

Timeframe for responding to a divorce application

If you filed a sole application, your spouse will have a set time to decide if they want to respond to the application. This time is:

  • if served in Australia - within 28 days of the application being served on you, or
  • if served outside of Australia - within 42 days of the application being served on you.

Last updated: 1-May-2019

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