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How to apply for a divorce

How to apply for a divorce

In Australia you can apply for a divorce if you have been separated for 12 months by lodging a divorce application form with the Family Court.

Applying for a divorce is a simple matter of completing and lodging the Application for Divorce contained in the Divorce Kit provided by the Family Court.

The Kit is provided by the Family Law Court at no cost.  There is a filing fee payable at the time that your Application is lodged.

You can make a sole application, or apply jointly with your spouse.

If you make a sole application, you will need to serve a copy of the Divorce Application on your spouse.  This is to inform your spouse that the divorce process has begun and give them an opportunity to respond if they wish.

Unless there are children, or any complicating factors, you do not need to attend the court personally at the hearing date.

To be eligible to apply for a divorce, you need to have been separated for at least 12 months, with no reasonable likelihood of resuming married life.  You can be considered separated while still living under the one roof.

Once you have finished completing the Application Form in the Kit, you can submit it online, in person, or by post.

You can download the Application for Divorce Kit here.

Finalising your property and maintenance matters

Applying for your divorce is not the same as finalising your property division and spousal maintenance (if any).

If you have reached an agreement with your ex-partner about how your assets (and liabilities) are to be divided, you can finalise your agreement by entering into a binding Financial Agreement made under the provisions of the Family Law Act.

A Financial Agreement is a binding way to settle your property division.  It can be used by married couples regardless of whether the formal divorce process has begun.  Financial Agreements are ideal where you both agree about how to arrange your financial affairs after separation.

If you are having trouble reaching an amicable agreement, you may need to apply to the Court to decide on a just and equitable property settlement on your behalf.

Stamp duty exemption benefits apply to all property transferred pursuant to a Financial Agreement.

For more information about concluding your property settlement with a Financial Agreement, see here:-

Financial Agreement – divorce not finalised

Financial Agreement – divorce has been finalised