Do you need to get a divorce?
O’Neill Family Law can help you navigate the legal process and provide information and guidance on associated issues such as child support, parenting arrangements and property settlement matters.
Application For Divorce
Divorce is a legal process in which a married couple ends their marriage.
To apply for a divorce, you and your ex-partner are required to be separated for a period of at least 12 months.
An Application for Divorce can then be filed in the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia.
How to apply for divorce?
You can apply for a divorce in one of two ways: filing a sole application or filing a joint application with your spouse.
We can help you through each step of the process, including preparing an application and appearing at your divorce hearing if necessary.
It is important to remember that getting divorced does not finalise your parenting arrangements or property settlement with your spouse.
All of your questions about divorce can be answered by our trusted team of family law experts.
When can I apply for a divorce?
To be eligible for a divorce in Australia, you and your partner must live separately for at least 12 months. Some couples separate, reconcile and then separate again.
A reconciliation lasting less than 3 months does not break the continuity of physical separation.
For example, if you live separate and apart from your partner for 5 months and then reconcile for 2 months before resuming physical separation for 7 months, you are eligible to apply for a divorce as long as no more than 3 months passed between the end of cohabitation and the start of physical separation.
That said, an Affidavit would have to be filed with the Court upon applying for a divorce which addresses any period you and your ex-partner may have resided under the same roof during part or all of the required 12-month separation period.
What is the cost of a Divorce Application?
The filing fee for lodging an Application for Divorce is currently $1,060.00. However, if you meet certain criteria set by the Court, you may be eligible for a reduced application fee.
It should be noted that this is only the fee for lodging the divorce application and does not include costs associated with engaging legal representation and the remainder of the divorce process.
How long does a divorce take to be finalised?
The time it takes for a divorce to be finalised depends on how complicated your matter is and how busy the Court is- it is simply at the Court’s discretion. Generally, after you file an Application for Divorce, the Court will list your matter for a hearing within a few months.
You may or may not need to attend this hearing depending on your circumstances (particularly whether there are any children in your relationship). At the hearing, the Court will decide if your divorce is granted.
If granted, your divorce will take effect 1 month and 1 day after your hearing date. If you wish to remarry, it is important to give yourself adequate time between lodging your Application for Divorce and the new wedding date.
Do I have to go to court to get a divorce?
Depending on the type of application you make and the circumstances surrounding your divorce, you may or may not need to attend Court.
A joint application is where both spouses apply for the divorce together. A sole application is where one person applies for the divorce and then serves their ex-partner with the application as specified under the rules.
In terms of appearances, it is generally the case that:
- If you do not have any children under 18 years of age and there are no complications in your application, you do not need to attend court;
- If you have children under 18 years of age and make a joint application with your ex-partner for divorce, you do not need to attend court; or
- If you have children under 18 years of age and make a sole application for divorce, you will need to attend court.
I have only been married for a short amount of time, can I get a divorce?
If you have been married for more than 2 years and wish to divorce, you can follow the normal procedure outlined above.
However, if you have been married for less than 2 years and wish to get a divorce, you will usually need to attend marriage counselling before the Court will grant the divorce.
A certificate from a family counsellor or other specified person or organisation certifying that you and your ex-partner have attended counselling and/or considered reconciliation must be provided to the Court when submitting your application for divorce.
There are exceptions to this including where there is family violence or if you cannot locate your ex-partner. If your ex-partner refuses to attend counselling, then you can still obtain the certificate required for your divorce.
Contact a Toowoomba Divorce Lawyer
If you are ready to take the next step and move forward with your divorce, our team of Family law solicitors are here to help.