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There are only very limited grounds for opposing a divorce. It is not enough that the respondent does not want a divorce, or says that they still love the other party, or wants a reconciliation. As the only ground for divorce is the irretrievable breakdown of marriage, the only way the respondent can stop the divorce is by showing that this has not occurred. The respondent will have to establish either that the parties have not yet been separated for 12 months, or that there is a real likelihood of reconciliation and the marriage has not ended. To prove that the marriage has not ended, the respondent must show that both parties want a reconciliation. This will be very difficult, because the applicant has brought the proceedings for divorce for the very reason that they want to end the marriage.

If the respondent considers there are grounds for opposing the divorce, they should prepare and file a Response. This must be done within 28 clear days (or 42 clear days if the respondent is overseas) of the application for dissolution being served on the respondent. A joint counselling session at the Court offers a better chance of reconciliation than dealings in a court room and the respondent should try to arrange a counselling session at the Family Court or a marriage counselling organisation. Even with counselling, the respondent should file an response if they consider there are grounds for opposing the divorce.

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