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Opposing divorce

On what grounds can I oppose a divorce?

There are only very limited grounds for opposing a divorce.

It is not enough that you do not want a divorce or you want to get back together. As the only ground for divorce is the irretrievable breakdown of marriage, the only way to stop the divorce is to show that this has not occurred. You must prove either that you have not yet been separated for twelve months or that there is a chance you will get back together once again.

To prove that there is a chance you will get back together, you must show that both of you want to do so. Of course, this will be difficult if the other party has applied for divorce to end the marriage. You will have a better chance of getting the other party to reconsider if you can arrange, and they agree to attend, a counselling session with a counselling organisation.

What is required to oppose a divorce?

To oppose a divorce you need to prepare, file and serve a Response to Divorce form within 28 days of being served with the Application for Divorce (unless you were served outside of Australia, in which case you have 42 days).

See Family Law Rules 2004 r 3.04(1).

What if I do not oppose the divorce, but there are mistakes in the application?

If you do not oppose the divorce, but there are mistakes in the application, you should seek legal advice.

You can call our free Legal Help Line on 1300 366 424.

It may be possible to prepare and file an affidavit explaining what facts are wrong in the application, what the true facts are and what evidence supports this. Such an affidavit must be filed at least seven days before the divorce is listed for hearing.

See Family Law Rules 2004 r 3.07.

How much does it cost?

There is currently no fee to make a response opposing a divorce.

Do I have to attend the hearing?

Yes. If you file a Response to Divorce both you and the other party must then attend the hearing.

See Family Law Rules 2004 r 3.04(2).

Opposing divorce  :  Last Revised: Fri Jan 8th 2016
The content of the Law Handbook is made available as a public service for information purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for legal advice. See Disclaimer for details. For free and confidential legal advice in South Australia call 1300 366 424.