Family Court of Western Australia

Responding to an application

If you have been served with an application and you are named as a respondent, you have to respond to the application.

How you respond depends on whether you agree with the orders the other party has requested. 

If you agree with the orders

If you agree with the orders, you can either:

  • attend the hearing (the details will be on the application you received), or
  • write to the Court saying you agree with the orders. You will need to provide a copy of the letter to the other party.

If you don’t agree with the orders

You need to respond to the application by sending the appropriate documents to the Court. You need to let the Court know your position for the first hearing by completing a:

  • Response to Initiating Application (Form 1A)
  • Affidavit containing the key facts supporting your case; and
  • Financial Statement (Form 13) with a summary of your financial status.

Once you have filed these documents, you are in the same position as the party who filed the Initiating Application. You are not at a disadvantage just because the other party started the case.

Even though there is an application to the Court, you can still reach an agreement outside of Court at any time and file a minute of consent orders. Around 95% of matters before the Court are resolved without going to Trial.

Response to Initiating Application (Form 1A)

The form has three parts:

  • Part A is where you write the orders you are requesting. You can attach an extra page if there isn’t enough room.
  • Parts B and C are for correcting information provided by the Applicant. You only need to complete Parts B and C if you want to correct information provided by the Applicant.

Sometimes people want orders to preserve the position until the final decision is made. These are called interim orders. If you do not ask for interim orders, no orders will be made at the first hearing unless the other party agrees.

If you have been served with an Initiating Application seeking interim orders, you will need to complete Question 4 of your response.

Affidavit supporting the response

The affidavit should set out the most important facts supporting your response. It should cover the same issues as the Case Information Affidavit you were served with, as well as facts supporting your response and any final or interim property and financial orders you are requesting.

The affidavit supporting the application page may be helpful when completing your affidavit, and the dividing property page has information on what the court considers when making property orders.

Financial Statement (Form 13)

The Financial Statement (Form 13) provides the court with details of you financial situation. The Financial Statement Kit is the same as the Financial Statement (Form 13) but has additional information to help you complete the form.

Filing the response

Make two photocopies of the completed forms and affidavit, and file the forms at the Registry by post or in person.

Once the applications has been processed and filed, the copies will be returned by post within a few days. These copies are for serving on the other party, and will show the date of your first hearing.

Filing fee

There is a fee for filing a response to an application. See the fees page for more information.

What next?

After filing your response, you need to serve a copy on the other party. See the service page for more information. The response needs to be filed at least 7 days before the date set for the next court event (for example, the procedural hearing).

Cases are assigned a first hearing date when the application is filed. The date will be on the application you were served with. After filing your response, attending the first hearing is the next step. During this time, you can also continue to resolve your issues outside of court.

At the first Court event the Judicial Officer conducting the hearing will consider options to manage your case and may make decisions about interim orders sought.

See the First court event page for more information.

Replying to a response

If the Response to an Initiating Application requests orders about new subject matters, the party who filed the Initiating Application can reply to those orders with a Reply to Response to Initiating Application (Form 1B). The reply can oppose the orders requested in the response, or can request different orders on the new subject matter raised by the response.

Last updated: 14-Jun-2019

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