What is a Divorce Hearing?

A Divorce Hearing is heard in the Federal Circuit Court of Australia. The Court will allocate a court date after the relevant documents required have been filed. The Registrar will decide whether the divorce will be granted.

Do I have to attend the divorce hearing?

The answer is: not necessarily. You may not be required to attend your Divorce Hearing. In reality, many people do not attend their hearing.

 

 

If the following situations apply to you, then you AND your spouse are not required to attend:

 

  • You and your spouse have no children of the marriage under 18 years old. A child of the marriage includes:
    • Any child between you and your spouse, including any born before the marriage or after the separation
    • Any child adopted by you and your spouse
    • Any child treated as a member of the family before the separation, such as step-children or foster children
    • This circumstance applies for both sole and joint divorce applications to the Court
  • You made a joint application for the divorce
    • You are not required to attend even if there is a child of the marriage under 18 years of age

When do I have to attend a Divorce Hearing?

You are required to attend the Divorce Hearing if you have made a sole application to the Court to divorce your spouse AND there is a child of the marriage under 18 years of age.

 

 

The Respondent (your spouse) who has not made an application with you is not required to attend if:

 

 

  • The Respondent has NOT completed and filed a Response to Divorce
  • If there is a completed and filed Response to Divorce, but the Respondent DOES NOT oppose the (sole) application
  • However, they may choose to attend nonetheless if they wish

 

 

If the Respondent has completed and filed a Response to Divorce AND opposed the application in that response, they must attend the Divorce Hearing in person.

 

 

What happens if I can’t attend?

 

 

What if there are circumstances that prevent you from attending even when you are required to do so?

 

 

You may ask the Court if you can attend by telephone. Before this is granted, you must complete a Telephone/Video Link Attendance Request Form. You can find the form HERE.

 

 

The form must explain the reasons why you are requesting to appear via telephone/video link.

 

 

You also need to advise the other party (your spouse) that you will be requesting this method of appearance and determine whether they agree or disagree to this. The Registrar will approve or refuse this request.

 

 

To apply for this request: complete the form, then eFile, email, post or fax the document to the Court at least 5 business days prior to the Divorce Hearing