Responding to applications for Orders

If your ex-partner asks the court for a Parenting Order or an Order to Settle a Dispute between Guardians, you’ll be given a copy of their application. You may get other documents by mail. You’ll then be able to respond (defend the application) and have your say before the court can make the Order.

If the court believes the situation is urgent, it can make an Interim Order straightaway. You’ll get to have your say after that - but before it becomes final.

On this page:

Decide if you want to respond

You don’t have to respond to an Interim Order, but if you don't the judge can make the final Order without hearing what you think.

How to respond

It’s free to respond.

  1. Fill in this form:
    Notice of response form and affidavit [PDF, 402 KB]
  2. File your documents at the court.
    Find out more about how to file documents
  3. Serve your documents on (give them to) the other people.
    Find out more about how to serve documents

Timeframes for responding

You have a set time to ask the court not to make the Parenting Order or Order to Settle a Dispute between Guardians.

The set time is usually:

  • 21 days if the documents are served in New Zealand
  • 30 days if they’re served in Australia
  • 50 days for anywhere else in the world.

The court will tell you how many days you have to respond. It’s important that you check this because a judge might choose a different timeframe to those mentioned above.

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