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 should only file a Response to Divorce if you:

  • oppose the divorce, or
  • contest the jurisdiction of the court.

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 and serve a Form 3A 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 a response is filed, both parties must attend the divorce hearing. If they do not attend, the Court may deal with the divorce application in their absence. If it is difficult for a party to attend in person, they may ask the Court to attend by telephone.

Timeframe for responding to a divorce application

A respondent has a set time to decide if they want to file a response to the application. This time is:

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

Objecting to facts in the application

If you want the divorce granted but disagree with the facts in the Application for Divorce, you should file and serve an affidavit.

You need to state which facts you disagree with in the affidavit. 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.


Last updated: 3-Mar-2020

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