What happens at the Divorce Hearing

Your day in Court at the Divorce Hearing 



It is usually a Registrar of the Court often presides over the Divorce Hearing and makes the decision and is the one who decides whether your divorce will be granted, rather than a Judge.

You may not need to attend your Divorce Hearing. In fact many people do not have to attend their divorce hearing.

There are some circumstances, which if they exist, mean you must attend your Divorce Hearing or have a lawyer attend for you.

You must attend the Divorce Hearing if:

  • There is a child of the marriage under 18 years and the application is a “sole” application (rather than a “joint” application);
  • You have filed a Response to Divorce, as otherwise it may be granted in your absence.

In some circumstances an Application can be made to appear at the Divorce Hearing by telephone. If you want to make an Application to attend your Divorce Hearing by phone there is a specific form you will need to prepare and file in Court to see that permission.

At the Divorce hearing, the Court will only consider whether your divorce should be granted.

The Court will not care why you are getting divorced, nor will they consider any parenting, property settlement, spousal maintenance, child support or other issues.




If there are Children under 18 years of age however, the Court will want to know the broad arrangements made for those Children. The questions the Court wishes to know regarding the arrangements made for the Children are asked in the Divorce Application.

The questions asked in the Application for Divorce about the arrangements made for the children under 18 years must be answered.

The questions asked are things such as where the children live, the type of living arrangements, who else lives in the house, schooling, health and similar questions. A short simple broad answer is usually sufficient. The court does not usually need a lot of detail in the answers.


Divorce in Australia – More Information

You may want to read our information sheet answering the questions of How much a Divorce will cost and how long it will take to get a Divorce.

Our information sheet on What you need to do to be able to apply for a Divorce includes information about the requirements to apply, divorce in Australia for marriages that took place overseas, separations under the same roof and how periods of reconciliation are treated.

The procedure to get a divorce is also explained in our information sheet A list of steps you need to take to get a Divorce.

There are only some issues a Court will consider when granting a divorce which are explained in our information sheet What things will a Court want to know to grant a Divorce.

You should also make sure you at least know about the important legal issues associated with Divorce that could affect your family forever. Read how divorce affects your Will, family after your death, your superannuation and your Life Insurance in the information sheet How does Divorce affect your Will and family after death.

If you have been married for less than two years the court has additional requirements you must comply with to be able to get a Divorce. Those extra requirements are detailed in our information sheet Divorce for Marriages under 2 years duration.


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