Can I Oppose a Divorce Application in Queensland?

Most couples enter marriage with the belief that it will last forever. But, for various reasons, many marriages in Queensland end in divorce. A separation or divorce is typically a very sad and emotional experience for both parties. But, what happens if one spouse is unwilling to agree to divorce? Is it possible to oppose a divorce application in Queensland? We share more below on what happens if you or your former spouse wishes to oppose a divorce request in Queensland below.


Do I need to Respond To An Application for a Divorce?

If you receive an Application for Divorce, there is no legal obligation for you to respond. You only need to respond if you object to facts stated in the application.
However, if you do agree with the application, you can send back the Acknowledgement of Service so the court knows you received the application. If you don’t agree, you will need to file a Response to Divorce.


Sole Divorce Application

If your former spouse opposes your request to make a divorce application, or you cannot locate your former spouse, you can apply for a divorce on your own. This is called a Sole Divorce Application.

You need to serve the application on your former spouse, however, they do not need to sign the application (divorce). You can read more about what happens if your former spouse refuses to sign the application here.

You are not able to serve the application yourself; someone over the age of 18 must serve the Application on your spouse.

A member of the Pullos Lawyers team can help you should you need to make a sole divorce application.


On What Basis Might I Be Able to Oppose a Divorce?

There are only very limited grounds for opposing a divorce. Australia has a no-fault divorce system, which means that neither party has to prove that the other caused the breakdown of the marriage. The Court will not consider one party’s role in the marriage breakdown when overseeing a divorce application; that the “marriage has broken down irretrievably” is the only legal requirement for a divorce to be granted.

This means that, even if you refuse to sign the papers or may disagree with the divorce, it is very likely that the divorce will be granted - even if only one partner has made the application.

An irretrievable breakdown of marriage is proven by the couple being separated for a minimum of twelve months, with no likelihood of them getting back together.

To oppose a divorce application in Queensland, you must file a Response to Divorce. You must also be able to attend the hearing.  You will need to file a Response to Divorce if you agree with the divorce but disagree with the facts contained within (such as children’s birth dates).

In attempting to oppose a divorce application, you must prove either that you have not separated for the required twelve months or that there is a chance you will get back together. If you want to rely on there being a chance you will get back together, you must show that both parties want to reconcile.

We always recommend seeking legal advice first, as you need to respond within a certain time frame. You must file paperwork with the court and appear at the divorce hearing to explain why you want the application dismissed.


Still Have Questions About Opposing a Divorce Application in Queensland?

At Pullos Lawyers, we have over 30 years’ experience dealing with divorce, spousal maintenance and international family law. If you wish to oppose a divorce application, your spouse is opposing a divorce application, or you need help with a sole divorce application or divorce response, we can help. We invite you to get in touch via email, or with our Gold Coast Office on (07) 5526 3646 or Brisbane office on (07) 3144 1641.