Lodging a Divorce Application
Lodging for your divorce is not a hard or complicated process.
The Family Law Courts have the form available and a DIY kit which clearly explains how to fill out the form. Don’t be fooled by other online services charging good money for something that you can obtain for free. You can download an editable version and fill it out on your computer or print it off and manually fill it out.
If you are unsure of the process and want further assistance, it is suggested that you seek the advice of a family lawyer or professional.
Your process to follow is:
Meet the eligible criteria
- Married for over two years (Your marriage must be considered over and irreparable)
Married less than two years:
- Have attended appropriate counselling (with a counsellor that can supply the required certificate for court) to see whether reconciliation of the marriage is possible. This certified Counselling certificate must accompany your Application for Divorce.
- If you don’t or can’t attend counselling, then an Affidavit explaining your reasons why needs submission to court.
- Living arrangements
- Be separated and living in separate residences for one year (12 months)
- Live in separate rooms, cease any form of intimacy, separate bank accounts and finances, not attend or socialise together, have family and friends informed that you are no longer together and prepare Affidavit’s supporting these steps.Suitable interim parenting orders are in place
Fill out and sign an Application for Divorce Form which is available from the Family Law Courts. Ensure you have copies of all birth certificates for all adults and children involved as well as your marriage certificate.
- This can either be a joint application (where both parties sign the same form), or
- A single application
- To do this you need to serve a copy on your ex-spouse
- File an Affidavit of Service
- Where applicable, an Acknowledgement of Service may be required
Pay the Application for Divorce fee which in 2015 is $1500 (and less for approved concession card holders or those that can prove they are experiencing financial hardship. at $280)
When the Application of Divorce is lodged with the court and the fee paid, a Hearing for the Application for Divorce will be set for one-month time (ie: total separation to be 13 months)
At the Hearing of the application of Divorce, your divorce will either be granted or dismissed depending on whether you met all necessary criteria.
- If you don’t meet the criteria, the case will be adjourned and another hearing date set
When the Judge grants a Divorce Order, the courts will make it final one month and one day after the hearing date. At this time, your Divorce Order is “Final’.
EXCEPTIONS and other considerations:
- Your ex-partner can object to the application for divorce if you have been separated for less than 12 months
- If the facts in the Application for Divorce is incorrect, you are able to correct them in either another court form or at the divorce hearing.
- Joint applications for divorce are processed faster than sole applications for divorce because these need to be served.
- Other orders for property, spousal maintenance, child support, financial and interim or final settlements will need to be addressed at a later stage by mutual agreement or through the court processes.
- If you are unsure about any of the steps or your application, a family lawyer can process and follow the necessary steps for you.