Understanding how to get a divorce in Australia can be challenging, but it’s essential to know that the process is more straightforward than many think. This guide will walk you through the steps and provide clarity on the legal aspects involved.

Further reading: Divorce vs property settlement: Fact Sheet.

The Simplest Way to Get a Divorce in Australia

It’s crucial to differentiate between your property settlement and the actual divorce process. While property settlements can be lengthy, requiring mediation or even family court involvement, the divorce itself is more straightforward, especially when both parties are in agreement.

Eligibility for Divorce

To apply for a divorce in Australia, you must:

  • Be an Australian citizen or have lawful residency with the intention to stay.
  • Confirm that the marriage has irretrievably broken down.
  • Have been separated for at least 12 months.

Sole or Joint Application

If your partner disagrees with the divorce or is unavailable, you’ll need to file a sole application. In such cases, only the applicant needs to sign, but the other party must be served with the divorce application.

Further resources: How do I serve a divorce application?

Online Divorce Application

You can eFile your divorce online through the Commonwealth Courts Portal. It’s the most cost-effective method, and you’ll find step-by-step instructions to guide you.

Fees and Concessions

The current filing fee for a divorce is $1,060. However, concessions are available, reducing the cost to $350 for those who qualify. Always check for the most recent fee updates.

Further reading: Why does it cost so much to separate?

Court and Your Divorce Application

While most won’t need to attend court, there are specific circumstances where it’s required, such as when there are children under 18 involved and a sole application has been lodged.

Getting Help with Your Divorce Application

For comprehensive legal advice, the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia website offers valuable resources, including an easy-to-follow flow chart and a live chat feature.

Finalising Your Divorce

After submitting your online application, you’ll receive a hearing date. If there are no objections, your divorce will be granted. Remember, from the hearing date, there’s a waiting period of one month and one day before the divorce orders are finalised.

Proof of Divorce

Once your divorce is final, you can download the divorce order as your proof of divorce from the Commonwealth Courts Portal.

Key Takeaways:

  • Understand the difference between property settlement and the actual divorce.
  • Ensure you meet the eligibility criteria before applying.
  • Utilize online resources like the Commonwealth Courts Portal for a smoother process.
  • Always seek legal advice when in doubt.

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Posted by Belinda Eldridge
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