COVID-19 response

If you are looking for the latest legal information relating current Coronavirus laws in New Zealand, check out our Coronavirus and the Law section.

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 you agree and don’t want a court hearing

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

The court registrar can make a Dissolution Order if an application for dissolution is made:

  • by both of you jointly and you agree to the order being made without you being present, or
  • by one of you, but the other person agrees to the order being made without them being present or does not defend the application.

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

When you parties agree but do want a court hearing

If you want an order immediately (for instance, if one of you is due to remarry), or if for any other reason you want the order made by a Family Court Judge, then you will need to request an undefended hearing in front of a judge. Both of you 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 one of you disagrees 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).

Next Section | Getting married again
back to top