How to Get a Divorce in Australia

Getting a divorce in Australia is a national process. It is the same for all states in Australia. The steps vary between whether or note your a sole applicant or joint applicant and whether or not you have children.

How To Get A Divorce (1)

Step 1  – Meet the eligibility requirements 

In order to get a divorce in Australia, a person must meet the eligibility requirements:  

  • the marriage must have broken down irrevocably; 
  • children must have arrangments in place; 
  • parties must have ceased cohabitation for 12 months; 
  • a person must meet the residency and citizenship requirements; 
  • a person must pay the requisite filing fee; and 
  • if married for less than two years, parties must attend counselling. 

Step 2 – Prepare the Application for Divorce 

A person can apply to the court for a divorce on their own (Sole Application) or with their former spouse (Joint Application).  

If a person is applying to get a divorce on their own, they are only required to sign the divorce application.

If they are filing for a divorce as a joint applicant, both parties are required to sign the application. 

Step 3 – Serve the application for divorce (Sole divorce applicants only)

For a sole divorce application, a must then sign and serve the divorce application on their former spouse. Their former spouse will have 28 days to respond to the divorce application. 

Step 4 – Filing the application

Pay the prescribed filing fee and lodge it with the Federal Circuit Court. Parties must include a copy of their marriage certificate, and if applying for a sole application, they must prove that they served the divorce application on their former spouse. 

Step 5 – Attend the hearing (for sole applications with children under 18)

A person will need to attend the divorce hearing if they make a sole application and there is a child of the marriage currently under 18. Otherwise, they are not required to attend the hearing 

Is a lawyer required for a divorce?

A lawyer is not required for a divorce application. A person can apply for the divorce online and attend to the documents them self. There are instructions on how to register to lodge divorce documents electronically available on the Federal Circuit Court’s web page.

How much is it to apply for a divorce?

The filing fee for a divorce application, with the Federal Circuit Court, is currently $910. A person may be eligible for a fee reduction should they either hold a concession card or cannot afford to pay the fee without financial hardship. Applying for the fee reduction will reduce the fee to $305. To apply for a fee reduction, they will need to fill either a general or financial hardship application to reduce the fee for divorce.