​ሕግንና ደንብን በተመለከተ እርዳታ ማግኘት ይፈልጋሉን? - Amharic | هل تحتاج لمساعدة قانونية؟ - Arabic | ܤܢܝܼܩܵܐ ܝ݇ܘ̤ܬ ܠܗܲܝܵܪܬܵܐ ܩܵܢܘܿܢܵܝܬܵܐ؟ - Assyrian | Need Legal Help? - Auslan | Treba li vam pravna pomoc? - Bosnian | Burmese â Need Legal Help? | 需要法律帮助吗? - Chinese Simplified | 需要法律幫助嗎? - Chinese Traditional | Trebate li pravnu pomoć? - Croatian | ضرورت به کمک قانونی دارید؟ - Dari | Wïc Kuɔɔny në Wɛ̈t Löŋ? - Dinka | آیا به کمک حقوقی نیاز دارید؟ - Farsi | Gadreva na Veivuke Vakalawa? - Fijian | Kailangan ninyo ba ng tulong na panglegal? - Filipino | Besoin d’aide juridique ? - French | Χρειάζεστε βοήθεια σε νομικά ζητήματα - Greek | क्या आपको कानूनी सलाह चाहिए? - Hindi | Butuhkan Bantuan dalam Masalah Hukum? - Indonesian | Hai bisogno di assistenza legale? - Italian | ត្រូវការជំនួយលើបញ្ហាផ្លូវច្បាប់ឬទេ? - Khmer | 법적인 도움이 필요하십니까? - Korean | Ви треба ли помош со правни работи? - Macedonian | कानूनी सहयोग चाहिएको छ? - Nepalese | Necessita de ajuda com questões jurídicas? - Portuguese | Вам нужна юридическая помощь? - Russian | E Manaomia Fesoasoani i Mea Tau Tulafono? - Samoan | а ли вам треба помоћ у правним питањима? - Serbian | Ma u baahan tahay Caawimmad xagga sharciga ah?- Somali | ¿Necesita ayuda con cuestiones jurídicas? - Spanish | சட்ட உதவி தேவையா? - Tamil | ท่านต้องการความช่วยเหลือทางด้านกฎหมายไหม? - Thai | Fiema’u ha tokoni Fakalao? - Tongan | Yasal Danışmaya İhtiyacınız mı var? - Turkish | Cần Được Giúp Đỡ Về Luật Pháp? - Vietnamese |

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Step-by-step guide icon

 Step by step guide - Going to the hearing

Alert IconYour safety is important.  If you feel unsafe or are experiencing any violence, you should speak to the Court staff immediately.

Alert IconIf you need help at Court, you should get legal advice. You can also see the Duty Lawyers at the Court registry. 

Step 1: Finding your courtroom

You should arrive at court at least 30 minutes early. This will give you time to pass through security and find your courtroom. 

To find your courtroom, look for the court lists in the foyer of the courthouse. If you can’t find the court lists, speak to the registry. 

Hint iconYou can check the Daily Court Lists online on the Federal Circuit Court of Australia website the day before the hearing. You should still check the court lists at the courthouse on the morning of the hearing, to make sure your hearing has not been moved to another courtroom.

Alert IconIf you have concerns about your safety when you are at court, you should alert a sheriff officer or court officer as soon as possible.  

For more information, see Do you have fears for your safety when attending court? on the Federal Circuit Court of Australia website. 

Step 2: Before you enter the courtroom

Before you enter the courtroom:

  • remove your hat and sunglasses from your head
  • turn your mobile phone off or put it on silent
  • stop eating or drinking. 

Step 3: What to do and say in the courtroom

Most divorces are hard and decided by Court Registrars and not Judges.

When you enter the courtroom, you should:

  • bow your head
  • take a seat at the back of the courtroom, and
  • wait until your case is called.

There will be a number of cases scheduled for hearing at that time. You may have to wait until the Court is ready to hear your case. 

If there are no seats at the back of the courtroom, you should wait outside the courtroom. Make sure you are close enough to the courtroom to hear the Court Officer call your name. 

When your case has been called you should:

  • sit at the bar table
  • get your documents ready
  • listen for questions
  • stand when you are speaking. 

Hint iconWhen speaking to a Judge, you should call them ‘Your Honour’.  

Hint iconWhen speaking to the Registrar, you should call them ‘Registrar’.

If you have a child with your spouse, you will need to tell the Court:

  • where your child lives
  • when they spend time with and communicate with their other parent
  • where your child goes to school, including what grade they’re in, and how they are progressing with their school work
  • any serious health or medical problems affecting your child
  • any child support or other financial support you receive or pay. 

Step 4: Adjournments

If you have filed an Application in a Case asking for substituted service orders, the Court must decide whether you have made all reasonable attempts to serve your spouse. 

If the Court decides that you have, it will make orders for substituted service. If this occurs, your matter may be adjourned to allow you to serve your spouse.

Alert IconIf the Court has granted you substituted service orders, you should serve your spouse as soon as possible. 

If the Court decides that you have not made all reasonable attempts to contact your spouse, it may adjourn the hearing and ask you to try again. 

Step 5: The decision

The Court may decide to grant a Divorce Order on the day of the hearing if it is satisfied that:

  • you and your spouse are married
  • your marriage has irretrievably broken down 
  • you and your spouse were separated for at least 12 months when the Application for Divorce was filed
  • the Application for Divorce was correctly served on your spouse you and your spouse have made appropriate arrangements for the care of your children, if relevant.   

If an Order is made, your divorce will be finalised one month and one day after the hearing. 

If you filed an Application in a Case asking for an order dispensing with service the Court may:

  • grant you a divorce, if it is satisfied that you can’t serve your spouse and you meet the above criteria
  • make Substituted Service Orders instead, if it believes that you can contact your spouse
  • adjourn your matter, if it believes you can serve your spouse by hand or post. 

Alert IconIf you have not filed an Application in a Case and have not served your spouse, the Court may adjourn or dismiss your application. 

Once the Court has dealt with your case, you can leave the courtroom. 

You won’t get a copy of the Divorce Orders at the hearing. All Divorce Orders are signed and sealed electronically and uploaded onto the Commonwealth Courts portal, where you can download them. 

For more information about getting a copy of your Divorce Order, see Divorce Order.