Our family lawyers can assist you in applying for your divorce.
You can apply for a divorce if you and your spouse have lived separately and apart for a continuous period of at least twelve months and one day and there is no reasonable likelihood of you resuming your relationship.
The Court can still consider that you and your spouse have separated where you have continued to reside in the same home after your relationship has ended. You must provide proof to the Court that you were separated during this time.
You can apply for a divorce in your sole name, or jointly with your spouse.
To apply for a divorce in Australia, either you or your spouse must:
- be an Australian citizen (by birth, descent or grant of citizenship); or
- regard Australia as your home, and intend to live in Australia indefinitely; or
- ordinarily live in Australia and have done so twelve months immediately before you file your divorce application
Divorce applications must now be filed electronically in the Federal Circuit Court. Sole applications need to be formally served on your spouse. If you do not know the location of your spouse, you can still apply for a divorce provided you can show that you have attempted to contact your spouse.
If you have been married for less than two years, before you can apply for a divorce, you and your spouse must first attend couple’s counselling and obtain a certificate or seek the Court’s permission to proceed without a certificate.
It usually takes several months for a divorce order to be granted from the time your application is filed. There is a compulsory Court filing fee of $865.00, or a reduced fee of $290.00 if you hold a Government concession card or you can demonstrate financial hardship to the Court.
If there are children under 18 years of age, and you are a making a sole application, the Court will require you to attend a hearing of your application. The Court must be satisfied that proper arrangements have been made for the children before it will grant a divorce.
Once you are divorced, you only have 12 months to commence property settlement or spousal maintenance proceedings. A divorce order will also impact your Will, Enduring Power of Attorney and superannuation beneficiary nominations. Before you apply for a divorce, it is important that you obtain legal advice regarding your property settlement entitlements and estate planning matters.