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Your safety is important. If you feel unsafe or are experiencing any violence, you should speak to the court staff immediately.
If you need help at court, you should get legal advice. You can also see the Duty Lawyers at the court registry.
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.
You can check the Daily Court Lists online on the Federal Circuit and Family 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.
If 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 Safety at court on the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia website.
Before you enter the courtroom:
Most divorces are decided by court Registrars and not Judges.
When you enter the courtroom, you should:
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:
When speaking to a Judge, you should call them ‘Your Honour’.
When speaking to the Registrar, you should call them ‘Registrar’.
If you have a child with your spouse, you will need to tell the court:
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.
If 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.
The court may decide to grant a Divorce Order on the day of the hearing if it is satisfied that:
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:
If 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.