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What is Divorce

In Australia, divorce refers to the legal process of formally ending a marriage. It involves obtaining a divorce order from the Family Court or Federal Circuit Court, which legally dissolves the marriage and allows both parties to remarry if they wish. 

Australia has a no-fault divorce system, which means you do not need to provide the court with a reason for why you are separating. 

applying for divorce

To obtain a divorce, you and your spouse need to consider the marriage irretrievably broken down and it is not likely you will re-commence your relationship. You must also be separated for over 12 months before applying for a divorce.
It is possible to obtain a Divorce if you live under one roof but live separate lives. It is even possible if you get back together for a cumulative period of 3 months without the need to re-start the 12-month separation period. However, if these circumstances arise, the court will need more information from the parties to ensure they can grant the divorce.
The application will be made to the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia via the Commonwealth Courts portal.
You can make an application on your own or jointly with your spouse. After the application has been finalised, it must be served on the other party if you are making a sole application.

eligibility for divorce

To apply for a divorce you must ensure you meet the eligibility criteria which requires either you or your spouse to:
  • Regard Australia as your home and intend to live in Australia indefinitely
  • Are an Australian citizen by birth, descent, or by the grant of Australian citizenship
  • Ordinarily live in Australia and have done so for 12 months before filing for divorce.

Divorce is purely the ending of a marriage, decisions around property, parenting or maintenance are a separate process which requires you to make an agreement between you and your spouse or seek orders from the court.

You can apply for a divorce after you finalise arrangements for property, parenting, or maintenance. Alternatively, you can obtain a divorce first and then deal with property, parenting, or maintenance matters. However, an application must be made within 12 months of the date on the divorce order. If this is not done within 12 months, you will have to apply for leave of the court. There is no guarantee this will be approved, and you may lose the opportunity to have property, parenting, or maintenance issues resolved.

We take the time to discuss your situation and assess the risk factors or matters that need to be clearly presented to the court to ensure your application is not requisitioned. For example, if there are children under the age of 18, the court requires extra information to be provided in an appropriate form to show them the children will be cared for.

Understand the child custody arrangements.

hiring a divorce lawyer

At the Family Lawyer, deal with this process for you. We provide you with comprehensive advice and assistance regarding your divorce to ensure your application will be accepted and granted.

We take the stress out of the process and finalise your divorce quickly and efficiently.

What Our Clients say

You have Questions. We have Answers.

Frequently asked questions

– If there are no children under 18, you are not required to go to court.

– If you and your spouse make a joint application, you do not need to go to court to attend the hearing.

– If you make a sole application with children under the age of 18, you will be required to go to court to attend the hearing.

Your divorce will not be final until one month after the date of your Divorce Order from the court. After this, you can re-marry.

Unless you have a Court Order which gives you sole parental responsibility, you need the other parent’s consent before you can change your child’s last name.

Your former partner must file a response to your application and then serve the response on you, or on your lawyer, before the hearing date.

If a response is filed, the court might not grant the divorce application at the first hearing until it hears further submissions from the parties.

The timing varies depending on the caseload of the court however the usual time is less than three months from the date of filing. If you have children under the age of 18 years, the court will also want to know that proper arrangements have been made for the care and welfare of the children before granting the divorce.

If you have no contact with your spouse, you will need to make a sole application for divorce. You will still need to serve the application on your spouse, which will be challenging.
This would require all reasonable attempts be made to try and locate your spouse.
If this is unsuccessful, an application to the court can be made to dispense the need to serve the documents or serve via alternative methods.

Take back control

At The Family Lawyer, our mission is simple: to help people. Whether you’re navigating a divorce, resolving a custody dispute, seeking assistance with family violence, or need a fair property settlement, we’re here to advocate for your rights and champion your interests.

During your Free Appointment we will:

Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

1300 111 835