Divorce & Separation
Here to assist you through a troubling time...
Separation and divorce is a challenging and stressful event in a person’s life. Emotions become heightened as you attempt to put the pieces of your life back together.
What is a divorce?
A Certificate of Divorce is granted to married couples who have separated and fulfilled the criteria under the Family Law Act 1975. Once a Certificate is granted, it means that you are no longer legally married.
If you are in a de facto relationship and separate, you can register your separation but you will not receive a Certificate of Divorce.
How do I get a divorce?
You must make an Application to the Federal Circuit Court and pay the filing fee. You may be able to apply for an exemption from the filing fee if you receive certain Centrelink benefits.
You must then serve the application on your spouse and file with the court an affidavit of service.
If you have children under 18 you must attend the court hearing. Once the court is satisfied that your divorce application meets all the requirements under the Family Law Act, then your Divorce will become final one month and one day from the date of hearing.
If a marriage is less than two years, then the parties must obtain a certificate from a counsellor before the Divorce is granted.
How soon after I separate from my spouse can I apply for a divorce?
To obtain a divorce you must be separated from your spouse for over 12 months, the marriage has irretrievably broken down and there is no reasonable prospects of reconciliation and resumption of the marriage.
What is separation?You must prove that you are separated, meaning the breakdown of the marriage or relationship.
It takes only one party to regard the marriage or relationship (in defacto couples) to have irrevocably broken down for there to be legal separation. You must communicate with your spouse or partner that the marriage/relationship has irretrievably broken down.
In certain circumstances the court will regard that the parties have separated even if they still live together under the same roof.
Does getting a divorce have any impact on my property rights or parenting decisions?
Generally No, with the only exception being that on the expiration of 12 months from the date of the divorce becoming final, your time limitation expires to commence action under the Family Law Act for property proceedings against your ex-spouse.
This is why it is important to seek expert legal advice prior to filing an application for divorce. Once you have lodged the Application for a Divorce with the court, the court will set the matter down for a Divorce Hearing. This does not apply to de facto separated parties.