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Responding to a divorce application

Information about how to respond to a divorce application.

If the prisoner’s partner applies for divorce, the prisoner does not have to attend the divorce hearing. The divorce will go ahead without them being present as long as the court is satisfied that the prisoner has been properly served with the divorce application.

However, the court has the power to refuse to grant a divorce application until they are satisfied that proper arrangements have been made for any children of the marriage who are under 18 years old.

See Divorce court hearings.

Attendance by electronic communication

If a prisoner is served with divorce papers by special service while they are in prison, they must be told about their right to ask to attend court by electronic communication.

See rr. 15.18, 5.14 and 2.38—Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Family Law) Rules 2021 (Cth)(opens in a new window).

Opposing divorce

The only grounds for opposing an application for divorce are that:

  • the couple had not been separated for 12 months
  • the court cannot hear the divorce application because neither party is an Australian citizen or Australian resident for the 12 months immediately before the application is made.

See Opposing a divorce application and Federal Circuit and Family Court—Response to divorce(opens in a new window).

More information

Legislation

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

  • r. 5.14—court decision to require attendance
  • r. 15.16—attendance by electronic communication
  • r. 15.18—attendance of a party or witness in prison
  • r. 2.38—personal service on a prisoner

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

Reference

Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia

See Federal Circuit and Family Court—Response to divorce(opens in a new window).

Updated