What is the process for getting a divorce?

Date: Nov 20, 2014

Going through a divorce can be a stressful experience for a number of reasons, both emotional and financial. With so much on the line, many individuals in the process of divorce choose to consult with a family lawyer.

What's more, the process for getting a divorce will be different depending on whether you are applying individually or as a couple, making it important to get the right advice during this process.

So what is the process when applying for a divorce? Here are 4 of the main steps.

1) Fill out an application

The first step to getting a divorce is to fill out an application form, which can then be filed online or through a paper copy. While the application can be downloaded and filled out by anyone, individuals will need to have the signing of this document witnessed by either their lawyer or a justice of the peace.

2) File the paperwork

The signed application, two photocopies of the application and a copy of your marriage certificate will then need to be filed with the family court registry. Individuals may also need to pay a cost at this time.

In some cases, additional paperwork will also need to be supplied during this process. Individuals who were born outside of Australia will need to provide evidence of their citizenship if they want to rely on their citizenship as grounds for a divorce.

3) Confirm a court date

Once this documentation has been received by the courts, a date and time will be set to have the divorce proceedings will go before a judge.

If you have applied individually, you must send a copy of the documentation provided by the courts to your partner at this time. Time limits will apply, with individuals needing to be served with this information at least 28 days before the court date if they are in Australia or 48 days if they are overseas.

For couples who are applying for a divorce together, the process is simpler as you will both receive a copy of this documentation from the courts when your application has been processed.

4) The court will consider the application

Depending on your situation it may or may not be necessary to attend the divorce proceedings on the day. If you have children under the age of 18 and have also made the divorce application alone, you will likely need to attend. In most other circumstances it is not necessary to be present during these proceedings.

If the courts are satisfied with the application, they will grant a divorce, with a divorce order finalised one month and one day after an order has been granted by the courts.

If you want more information regarding the process of getting a divorce, make sure you contact a family lawyer.