Applying for a divorce is a simple process that most people can do themselves
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Application for Divorce

Applying for a divorce is a simple process. Most people attend to this themselves. You can obtain useful information and necessary court forms regarding the process at the Federal Circuit Court of Australia website.

There are some situations where extra documents or procedures are required. Specific knowledge of the legal requirements will be beneficial in those situations.

Situations where a divorce is not standard and you may need to seek legal advice include

  • Where there has been a resumption of cohabitation since separation
  • Where you are unable to locate your former spouse
  • Where the application is made during other family court proceedings for property or parenting matters
  • Where there has been separation under the same roof.

An application for divorce relates solely to the termination of the marriage. It does not relate to other separation issues such as:

  • Property settlement
  • Children matters
  • Child support and
  • Spousal maintenance.

Those matters must be dealt with separately.

Types of Divorce Applications

An application for divorce can be made:

  • By yourself, as a sole application, or
  • Together with the other party to the marriage, as a joint application.

Ground for Divorce

In Australia, divorce is based on a “no-fault” principle. The courts do not consider the reasons for the marriage breaking down.

The only relevant ground for a divorce is that the marriage has broken down irretrievably. This is established by the parties having separated for a continuous period of not less than 12 months immediately before the filing of the application for divorce.

The court will not make a divorce order if there is a reasonable likelihood that the parties will reunite.


From the time that you file a divorce application the court we usually give you a court date approximately 3 months from the date of filing.

Assuming that the court is satisfied with your application at the hearing date then the divorce order will be issued and become effective one month and one day after the hearing date.

For the above reasons the divorce process could take approximately 5 to 6 months to finalise.

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