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If you have filed an Application for Divorce but have changed your mind, you can withdraw your application before the divorce hearing. If you withdraw your Application for Divorce you won’t be able to get a refund.
If you filed a Response to Divorce and you no longer want to oppose or amend any errors in the Application for Divorce, you can withdraw your response before the divorce hearing.
Before withdrawing an application or response, you should get legal advice.
This section covers:
To withdraw your Application for Divorce or Response to Divorce you must file a Notice of Discontinuance.
You can download a copy of the Notice of Discontinuance form from the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia website.
When you complete the Notice of Discontinuance, you must include:
Once you have completed the Notice of Discontinuance, you must sign and date it. You do not need to get your signature witnessed by an authorised person.
Instructions: Instructions for completing a Notice of Discontinuance
Sample: Notice of Discontinuance
You can file your Notice of Discontinuance online via the Commonwealth Courts Portal or at a court registry.
If you file your documents at a court registry, you must file the original Notice of Discontinuance, and two copies - one for yourself and one for your spouse. The court will keep the original.
If the hearing is not vacated after you have filed a Notice of Discontinuance, you should attend the hearing to ensure that no court orders are made in your absence.
You should file your Notice of Discontinuance at least 14 days before the court hearing date. If you file your Notice of Discontinuance less than seven days before the hearing, you must ask the court’s permission to withdraw your Application for Divorce or Response to Divorce. To do this, you must attend the divorce hearing.
If you and your spouse have filed a joint application, but only one of you files a Notice of Discontinuance, the other applicant can still ask the court to make a divorce order (and an order for costs).
If this happens, the person who filed the Notice of Discontinuance will become the respondent, and the divorce hearing will go ahead.
You must serve your spouse with a copy of your Notice of Discontinuance as soon as possible.
You can serve your spouse by:
You do not need to serve your spouse by hand, but you can if you want to.
If your spouse is overseas, there is a different process you must follow to serve them with your Notice of Discontinuance. For more information about how to serve your spouse overseas, see Serving a legal document across international borders on the Attorney-General’s Department website.