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Opposing a divorce application

Information for someone who does not want a divorce.

A person who wants to oppose an application for divorce must complete a ‘Response to divorce’ form, and file it in the Federal Circuit and Family Court. The form needs to set out the basis on which they wish to oppose the application.

The basic grounds for opposing a divorce application are:

  • that the couple has not separated for 12 months or more
  • objecting to the jurisdiction—that is where neither party is an Australian citizen, or an Australian resident for 12 months or more immediately before they applied for divorce.

Disagree with information in divorce application

Where the application for divorce states details about the marriage or care arrangements for children which the respondent believes are incorrect, they may address these issues in the ‘Response to divorce’ form.

It is important to make sure that the correct information is recorded from the beginning, as it may give the other party an unfair advantage in any future dispute over residence of children or property settlement.

Time for response

A person who wants to file a response must do so within 28 days of being served with the divorce application. If the respondent was served overseas they have 42 days to respond.

A copy of the response must be served on the applicant in accordance with the rules.

More information


Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Family Law) Rules 2021 (Cth)

  • Part 2.4—responding to an application

See Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Family Law) Rules 2021(Cth).(opens in a new window)