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Communtity Law Manual | Relationships & break-ups | The dissolution order: How it gets made and when it takes effect

Divorce: Getting a “dissolution” order

The dissolution order: How it gets made and when it takes effect

When the parties agree and don’t want a court hearing

Family Proceedings Act 1980, ss 38, 42; Family Court Rules 2002, rules 360–362

If an application for dissolution is made:

  • by the parties jointly, and they consent to the order being made in their absence, or
  • by one party, but the other person consents to the order being made in their absence or does not defend the application,

then the court registrar can make a dissolution order.

A dissolution order made by a registrar does not become final until one month after the order is made. The parties will be sent a copy of the dissolution order as soon as it becomes final.

When the parties agree but do want a court hearing

If the parties want an order immediately (for instance, if one party is due to remarry), or if for any other reason they want the order made by a Family Court Judge, then the parties will need to request an undefended hearing in front of a judge. Both parties will have to go to court and appear in front of the judge as a formality only. At the hearing, the judge can make a dissolution order that takes effect immediately.

When the parties disagree and there is a defended court hearing

If, after a defended hearing, a judge decides that the order should be made, then the order will come into effect one month after the hearing date (unless the judge’s decision is appealed).

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