Gold Coast & Sydney Divorce Lawyers
Our team of family lawyers in Gold Coast and Sydney understand that the dissolution of a marriage by way of divorce, can be highly stressful on all individuals involved. We are invested in insuring that this process is as easy as possible. You can apply for divorce together with your former partner, as joint applicants, or you can apply by yourself, as a sole applicant. In that case, your former partner would be the respondent.
Am I eligible for a Divorce?
To be eligible to apply, you must satisfy the court that your relationship has broken down irretrievably. This means that:
You and your former partner have been living separately and apart for a continuous period of at least 12 months; and
There is no reasonable likelihood of reconciliation or cohabitation being resumed.
Our divorce lawyers can file all applications by e-file (online) through the Commonwealth Courts Portal.
To finalise your application, you must provide the following:
- Your marriage certificate (we can obtain a certified copy from the registry of births deaths and marriages, if you do not have the original); and
- Funds available for the $865 filing fee (unless you have applied for a reduced fee, in which case it will be $290).
We acknowledge that every marriage is different. Depending on your circumstances, your application may also need additional documents as follows:
- If you are filing solely, you will need to file an Affidavit of Service by Hand and an Acknowledgement of Service evidencing that the respondent has been personally served;
- If you and your partner have experienced ‘on and off’ periods or have been ‘separated under the one roof’, you will need to file an affidavit with your application, providing further evidence to show that you have separated;
- If your marriage certificate is in a language other than English, you will need a translated marriage certificate with an affidavit from an accredited translator deposing to the authenticity of the translation;
- If you are applying for a reduced fee, you will need to file an application for a reduced fee showing that you:
- Hold a Centrelink healthcare card, pensioner concession card, Commonwealth seniors health card, or any other card that certifies your entitlement to Commonwealth health concessions;
- Have been granted legal aid;
- Are receiving youth allowance, Austudy or ABSTUDY payments;
- Are aged 18 or under; or
- Would experience financial hardship if you had to pay the entire amount.
- If you have been married for less than 2 years, you will need to attend marriage counselling and file, with your application, a counselling certificate. You can engage a private marriage counsellor. For referrals, please contact our family law team.
For more information about marriage counselling please contact Family Relationship Advice Line on 1800 050 321.
'No Fault' Divorce
In accordance with the Family Law Act 1975, in Australia our system provides for ‘no-fault’ divorce. The only ground for divorce is referred to as an ‘irretrievable breakdown of marriage’, which must be evidenced by a separation period of no less than 12 months.
This means that the court will not consider why or how the marriage broke down. A common question clients ask is whether a partner being unfaithful during the relationship will have an impact on family law proceedings following separation. The answer is no. Infidelity plays no part in whether there are sufficient grounds to obtain a divorce.
Once your application is filed, a Registrar will hear your matter and determine whether the divorce order is made and/or whether a section 55A declaration is required (declaring that there are no children or that sufficient provision has been made for the care, welfare and development of the children).
Applicants are only required to attend the hearing if it is a sole application and/or there are children under the age of 18 years. We recommend that you attend if an affidavit is required to submit additional information.
A Certificate of Divorce will be issued and divorce will take effect either one month after the date the order is made or from the making of a section 55A declaration.
Divorce can render the whole or part of your will ineffective. For that reason, we recommend that you review your will. If you require assistance, please contact our office.
Once your divorce has been granted, the time limit to bring property settlement and spousal maintenance claims will start ‘ticking’. This could be advantageous or detrimental to your circumstances.
Our divorce lawyers are able to assist you in:
- Ensuring all requirements are met for your application;
- Serving the application on the other party;
- Handling any opposition to the application; and
- Understanding and/or appearing at the hearing.
For assistance, please contact one of our team of divorce lawyers on 1300 749 709.