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If you need help preparing for court, you should get legal advice. You can also see the Duty Lawyers at the court registry.
You should check:
If you are attending by phone, you should check you have the phone number ready.
If you are attending in person, you should check:
You can find the details of your hearing, on the Commonwealth Courts Portal or the court lists from 4pm the day before the hearing.
For the court lists, see Daily court lists on the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia website.
If you have trouble remembering important dates, set yourself a reminder.
If you have to go to court for your hearing, you should organise someone to care for your children while you are at court. You should be prepared to be at court for several hours. Children are not allowed to go into the courtroom.
You should have all of the documents that have been filed with you at the divorce hearing.
Make sure they are organised so it is easy for you to find them. You may want to put them in a folder and mark them with tabs.
Checklist: What to take to the hearing
Before the hearing, you should read your own documents so you can remember what you told the Court.
The Court will ask you questions about what you have said in your documents. You need to be able to answer these questions.
You should take the time to read any documents your spouse has filed with the Court so you understand their case.
The Court may ask you questions about what your spouse has said in their documents. You need to be able to answer these questions.
Before the hearing, you should write down:
This will stop you from forgetting anything important.
You may want to make a note of, or highlight, any important information in your documents, for example, your date of separation or child’s school. Make sure you can find important information quickly.
If you change your name after filing your Application for Divorce, but before the divorce hearing, you must inform the Court.
If your hearing is in person, you may want to familiarise yourself with the courtroom and the people in it.
For information about where to sit and what the courtroom may look like, see Who’s who in court.
You can have a support person with you at the hearing. This may be a friend or relative. If your hearing is in person, your support person will not be allowed to speak for you or sit at the bar table with you.
If you need an interpreter, you should arrange one before the hearing.
If you can’t afford an interpreter, the Court may arrange one for you. You should contact the Court at least two weeks before the hearing so that it has time to arrange an interpreter.
For more information, see Interpreter policy and guidelines on the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia website.
If you have a disability, medical condition or special needs that means you require support from the Court, you should contact the Court at least one week before the hearing.
For more information, see Court support on the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia website.
Step by step guide: Going to the hearing