Understand your rights and obligations when making an application for divorce

Making an application for divorce

You might get divorced only once (or twice). We have been through divorce hundreds of times, if not thousands. We have seen what works and what can go wrong, and may think of things you haven’t even considered.

So, whilst getting a divorce may seem like a simple enough process, we recommend seeking legal advice early.

When can I apply for divorce?

If you have been separated for a period of 12 months, you will be able to make an application for divorce.

Do I need a reason to apply for a divorce?

No. Divorce in Australia is now “no fault” which means that you need not cite any reason for the breakdown in the marriage.

Does my partner have to agree to a divorce?

A divorce can proceed either as a joint application or by one person.

What is the difference between an application for divorce and a property settlement?

A property settlement is the formal division of the assets and property of a relationship. Discussions about ‘who gets what’ can occur as soon as couple separates. 

A divorce can only happen 12 months after the end of a relationship. This is because the court recognises that some couples may reconcile. 

It is important to note, that you only have 12 months from the date of divorce to apply for a property settlement. If you are out of time, you will need to apply to the court for special permission – and it may not be granted.

You only have 12 months from the date of divorce to apply for a property settlement

Making an application for divorce

Application by both parties

  • A joint application for divorce is signed by both parties. 
  • It does not need to be filed with the court and served on each party before it proceeds, making it less time consuming.
  • Neither party needs to attend court, regardless of whether there are children under the age of 18 from the relationship.

Application by one party (without cooperation from the other spouse)

  • You can apply for a divorce without the cooperation of your spouse.
  • The application made by you needs to be filed with the court, and formally served on your spouse.
  • If you have children under the age of 18, you must attend court for your divorce hearing.

Generally speaking, once the Application is filed, the Divorce is allocated a court date a few months in the future. All things going well, the Divorce will then become a “Decree Nisi” on that date and one month later become a “Decree Absolute” – in other words, at that point, your divorce will become final.

Need some advice – check out the getting started package

Take the stress out of your divorce by instructing one of our professional and experienced family lawyers. We can prepare your Application for Divorce for a fixed fee. 

To be eligible for the fixed fee divorce rate, of $880 (Inc GST) plus disbursements we will need the full name and contact details of your spouse. 

Contact us today and we can provide you with an itemised quote for disbursements.

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Make a New Start

Fixed Fee Getting Started

$ 550 inc GST

For new clients seeking comprehensive legal advice

  • An initial 1-2 hour meeting with a family lawyer where we gain a good understanding of your unique circumstances
  • We explain the process and provide advice tailored to you including mapping out the next step and answering any questions you may have
  • We then follow up with a letter confirming our preliminary advice

Fixed Fee Divorce

$ 880 inc GST

You need to have been separated for a period of at least 12 months

  • Preparation of your application for divorce
  • You're given an itemised quote for all disbursements
  • We keep you informed at every step of the way