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Divorce

Evolve Legal - Divorce Lawyers

Divorce Lawyers

To be eligible for divorce, you must demonstrate an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage, a separation for a minimum period of 12 months, and no chance of reconciliation.

You will need a valid marriage certificate and credit card details for the $940 court filing fee (you may be eligible for a reduced filing fee depending on your circumstances). The nature of your marriage will have an impact on how long it will take for the Registrar to make a decision whether to grant you a divorce order (i.e. if it is a joint divorce application, if there are children).

Assuming a divorce order is granted, you will have a 12 months to file an application for any financial orders. If you are living overseas, you can still apply for a divorce in Australia, as long as you meet the relevant criteria.

Eligibility

In order to be eligible to make a divorce application, the following must be satisfied:

  1. Your relationship must have irretrievably broken down;
  2. You and your former spouse or partner must be separated and have lived separately for a period of at least 12 months; and
  3. There is no reasonable prospect that you and your former partner will reconcile or resume cohabitation.

All divorce applications are filed online (e-filed) through the Commonwealth Courts Portal by one of our family law solicitors.


If you have been “on and off” with your partner or separated under the same roof, you will need to file an affidavit providing the Court containing further evidence.

You will need to file the following documents in addition to your divorce application:

  1. Your marriage certificate;
  2. Credit card details for the $940 court filing fee.

If you do not have the original copy of your marriage certificate, you can apply to the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages to obtain a certified copy or instruct us to do so on your behalf. If your marriage certificate is in any language other than English, you will need to have it translated into English before it can be filed.

You may apply to the court to reduce the filing fee if you fulfil one of the following:

  1. Hold a Centrelink healthcare card, Commonwealth seniors health card or pensioner concession card;
  2. Are the recipient of legal aid;
  3. Are the recipient of youth allowance, Austudy or ABSTUDY payments;
  4. Are under 18 years old; or
  5. Would experience financial hardship if you had to pay the full filing fee.

If you have been married for less than 2 years and are seeking a divorce you must attend marriage counselling and file a counselling certificate along with your application.

Procedure

After your application has been filed, a Registrar will hear your matter and then decide whether to grant you a divorce order. If it is a joint Application (both spouses sign as joint Applicants) or there are no children under 18 years, this will occur about two months after filing and will happen without any court appearance. If it is an Application of just one spouse and there is a child under 18 years, the Registrar will consider the Application in a short court appearance.


If an affidavit is required in order to submit further information, we recommend that you attend the divorce hearing.

If granted, the Divorce Order will become final one day and one month after the Registrar grants the Divorce at the hearing.

It is important to consider the effect divorce has on your will. It can make some parts of the whole of your will ineffective. Therefore, we recommend that you review your will. Should you require assistance, please contact our office.

Statutory time limits

After you have been granted a divorce, there is a time frame that you need to adhere to in relation to bringing spousal maintenance and/or property settlement claims.

From the date the divorce order is granted, you will have 12 months to file an application for financial orders such as a property settlement and/or spousal maintenance.


In some circumstances, the court will grant leave, allowing a party to file an application outside of the time limit. Leave will only be granted if the court is satisfied that:
Hardship will be caused to a party if leave is not granted; and
In the circumstances of spousal maintenance, that when the time limit lapsed the applicant was unable to support themselves without an income tested pension, allowance or benefit.

The time limit is only applicable in relation to the filing of financial orders. There is no time limit concerning parenting matters. So long as the child or children remains under the age of 18 years, you may commence court proceedings at any time. In relation to setting aside a property order or varying, reviving, suspending or discharging a spousal maintenance order, there is no time limit.

No fault divorce

In Australia our family law system provides for no fault divorces, meaning the Court will not consider the circumstances that contributed to the breakdown of the relationship. As such, there is no need for the party making the application to show “fault” on the part of the other party.


“Fault” can be a number of things, but most commonly it is the infidelity of one party. Even if your spouse has been unfaithful to you, it will have no bearing on the outcome of your divorce. The no fault system attributes no blame to either party.

Under the Family Law Act 1975, the only basis for divorce is that the relationship between you and your former partner has irretrievably broken down, demonstrated by a period of separation of at least 12 months.

International divorce

If you or your former partner are living oversea, you can apply for a divorce if you:

  1. Regard Australia as your home and intend to live here for an indefinite period;
  2. Are an Australian citizen;
  3. Ordinarily live in Australia and have done so for at least 12 months prior to filing for divorce.

You will still need to satisfy the eligibility criteria, that is:

  1. Your relationship must be irretrievably broken down;
  2. You and your former spouse or partner must have been separated and living separately for a period of at least 12 months; and
  3. There is no reasonable prospect that you and your former partner will reconcile or resume cohabitation.

Why Choose Us

Specialist Team

Specialist Team

Our team of 10 family lawyers only practice family and divorce law so we know what we are doing.

Our <br>Fees

Our
Fees

We can offer fixed fees for certain work, payment plans and are up front with our fee estimates.

Quick Turnaround

Quick Turnaround

Our extensive support team ensures each lawyer’s file load does not compromise their efficiency.

Resolution Focused

Resolution Focused

Our experienced lawyers will explore all options to resolve your case without court intervention if possible.