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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. 

Getting divorced does not settle property, parenting, or maintenance matters, these are all separate areas of family law which you will need agreement on. Seek legal advice early on to ensure you understand your rights and obligations.


In Australia, the divorce process operates under a ‘no fault’ system, meaning that neither party needs to prove fault or obtain consent from the other to initiate a divorce.

This approach simplifies the process, focusing instead on the practical aspects of the separation. Furthermore, most divorcing couple are able to formally settle parenting and financial matters without the need for court intervention.

The family law system encourages divorcing couples to utilise mediation as a first step, promoting amicable resolutions and reducing the need for potentially contentious litigation.

Understanding your rights and obligations early help frame ongoing discussions so you can approach your divorce with more confidence and clarity, ensuring a smoother transition into the next chapter of your life.

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Frequently Asked Questions


Do I need to go to court to get a Divorce?

  • 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.
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    What happens after Divorce?

  • 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.
  • If you haven't reached agreement for your property matters, keep in mind that you must initial proceedings for porperty settlement within 12 moths of the divorce order.
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    Can I change my child's surnames after a Divorce?

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


    What if my former partner opposes the Divorce?

    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.


    What if I don't speak to my former partner?

    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.

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