The process of Divorce

A divorce is the formal legal ending of a marriage. We outline how divorce works below.

A divorce does not entail the division of assets or children 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 obtaining a Divorce

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;
  2. Generally, you need to be married for more than two years before you are able to obtain a divorce.

  3. Looking at a party’s status as a resident or citizen in Australia.
  4. When you separated; and
  5. To obtain a divorce you need to have been separated for a period of at least 12 months.

  6. Have proper arrangements been made for your children.

The above and further information, needs to be included in an Application for a Divorce so that the Court Registrar can make a divorce order.

The 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 months’ 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 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 means is therefore critical.

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 the court will not grant the divorce. Further to this the court will also look to ensure that all the other key conditions of your divorce have been complied with. The documentation must also be in order including the correct service of documents and timeframes being adhered to.

How using a family lawyer will help

Having a family lawyer draft your divorce application will mean that you will cover all of the necessary 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; and
  4. Appearing at the hearing on your behalf.

A family lawyer knows what is required under the Family Law Act. 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 children matters you may need advice on.

PCL Lawyers also offers fixed-priced fees for our divorces. This means that you get the benefit of knowing how much the divorce will cost and important advice about the process to obtaining a divorce order.

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.

Our Locations

Melbourne CBD

Level 15,
440 Collins Street,
Melbourne VIC 3000


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1341 Dandenong Road,
Chadstone VIC 3148


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14 Mason Street,
Dandenong VIC 3175


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435 Nepean Hwy
Frankston Vic 3199


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441 South Road
Moorabbin Vic 3189


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84 Hotham St,
Preston Vic 3072


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12 Clarke Street
Sunshine Vic 3020

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