The process of Divorce

The Divorce Process in Australia

A divorce is the formal legal ending of a marriage. Below, we outline the divorce process in Australia and how it works.

A divorce does not entail the division of assets or children’s matters. These matters are negotiated separately from the divorce process and application, although it is typically done by a divorce lawyer during the negotiation of property settlement and child custody negotiations.

The Steps to Divorce in Australia

In Australia, we have a “no fault” divorce system. What this means is that the court is not concerned about why parties are seeking a divorce. However, there are certain requirements that must be met for a divorce order to be made. This involves an examination of:

  1. When the parties were married (Generally, you need to be married for more than two years before you are able to obtain a divorce)
  2. A party’s status as a resident or citizen in Australia
  3. When you separated (To obtain a divorce, you need to have been separated for a period of at least 12 months)
  4. Whether proper arrangements have been made for your children

All of the above and further information needs to be included in an application for a divorce so that the court can make a divorce order.

The family law divorce process generally takes between three to five months from filing the application with the court to the date that the divorce order is received. It is important to ensure that you lodge the application as soon as possible.

Once a Divorce Order is Made

Following a divorce order being made, the court will then make the order available in one month’s time. After that time, your family lawyer will send the order to you. This means that you are now legally divorced and can remarry if you choose.

There are also certain timing requirements that come with obtaining a divorce order. This means that you need to try and resolve any property settlement matters between you and your spouse within 12 months of a divorce order being made. If you do not, then you will need to make an application to the court for a property settlement. Waiting past the 12-month period may result in you being out of time to make a property application.

Obtaining advice about what a divorce is critical and helps to ensure that documents are prepared and served correctly and your divorce is granted quickly.

Can an Application for Divorce be Denied by the Court?

Yes, if the court is not satisfied that adequate provision has been made for your children, they will not grant the divorce. Also, the court will look to ensure that all the other key conditions of your divorce have been complied with. Your documentation must also be in order, including the correct service of documents and timeframes being adhered to.

How Using a Family Lawyer Can Help

A family lawyer can provide invaluable advice and guidance to help you navigate the steps to divorce in Australia. Having a family lawyer draft your divorce application will also mean that you will cover all procedural requirements to obtain a divorce order. This includes:

  1. Correctly completing the application
  2. Filing the documents with the Federal Circuit Court of Australia
  3. Serving the documents on your former partner
  4. Appearing at the hearing on your behalf

A family lawyer knows what is required under the Family Law Act. At PCL Lawyers, we will work with you to complete your documentation so that the application is granted by a court.

Often, this can be done as a part of your property settlement and other matters you may need advice on.

PCL Lawyers can also offer fixed-priced fees for divorce applications. This means that you get the benefit of knowing how much the divorce and mediation process will cost as well as gaining important advice about the divorce process in Victoria.

Contact Us

Our expert team of family lawyers will be able to provide you with advice on all aspects of your separation and divorce. Feel free to give one of our family lawyers a call on 8397 5000 to find out more about the divorce application process.

Our Locations

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90 Collins Street,
Melbourne VIC 3000


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Chadstone VIC 3148


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Dandenong VIC 3175


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Frankston Vic 3199


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Moorabbin Vic 3189


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Preston Vic 3072


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Sunshine Vic 3020

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