The Divorce Process

Step 5
Get a date for the court hearing

At this stage, these are the most common scenarios which might apply:

  • Documents have been exchanged - applicant and respondent agree.
  • Documents have been exchanged - applicant and respondent do not agree.
  • No formal response has been received from the respondent.

Applicant and respondent consent (agree)

If both parties agree on the terms of divorce, they should make and sign a written agreement. This is often called a Terms of Agreement document. It can also be referred to as a Terms of Consent or Terms of Settlement document. A judge will consider this written agreement when making any court orders.

To proceed with the divorce, either person (but usually the applicant) will need to file a Notice of Motion with the court office for an order on agreed terms.

More information on notices of motions >

At any stage before the judge's hearing there may be additional steps or actions to be completed. Sometimes, the case will be reviewed by the County Registrar before going to the judge. County Registrars are legal professional court officers with administrative functions in the Circuit Court. Each county may have its own review process. Contact your court office for more information.

Applicant and respondent contest (disagree)

If one party disagrees with the terms of divorce, the matter may be reviewed by the County Registrar in a Case Progression hearing. This hearing aims to identify and resolve issues before going to court. The County Registrar will establish any steps to be taken to prepare the case for hearing by a judge. This can include identifying the issues in dispute and ensuring all paperwork is correct.

More information on Case Progression >

No response

If the respondent does not enter an appearance, file a defence or provide proof of agreement, the applicant can ask the court to proceed with the divorce.

More information where there is no response >