Hi, thanks for your question. It is reasonable for either party to request that Decree Absolute is not granted until settlement of financial matters - this is because Decree Absolute will end certain rights afforded to married couples arising out of the marriage.
Is there any reason why you need the Decree Absolute to be granted prior to financial matters settling?
Thanks - have financial relief proceedings commenced?
Thank you - the evidence of efforts you have undertaken to settle the finances with no conclusion can assist you in opposing her application to delay decree absolute.
However, you should be mindful that courts usually agree to delay the granting of decree absolute if there are assets and finances yet to be settled.
If the hearing has not been formally vacated or relisted to a different date by the court then you should attend - you can do this yourself and do not necessarily need legal representation. If you both agree to vacate the hearing to a different date then a consent order can be prepared and signed by both of you to relist it to a different date.
If you were to attend and she did not then the court has the power to make an order in her absence, which may be helpful for you as the court will not look kindly if she did not attend given that it is her application.
A lot of people do tend to represent themselves in family proceedings.
Yes, a barrister can attend on her behalf an explain her absence.