Formalising the end of a marriage


You can file an Application for Divorce with the Court after you have been separated for 12 months.

Separation “under one roof” counts towards the 12 month period, however the application is more complicated than the more simple application that can be made if you have been living apart for a full 12 months.

If you and your former partner both agree to sign and file a Joint Application, the process is fairly straightforward and does not require attending court.

If your former partner refuses to sign, you will need to file a Sole Application. If you have a child under 18, or if there are difficulties locating and serving your former partner, a court appearance is required for sole applications.

You do not need to have a lawyer to apply for a divorce. If you want to apply yourself, you can do so online – see the Court website for details.

Most people will find Joint Applications simple enough to prepare without a lawyer, however Sole Applications can be quite complex and we recommend engaging a lawyer unless you are confidant about doing it yourself. 

In Australia, divorce is a separate process to a financial settlement. You can enter into a financial settlement either before or after divorce, subject to the time limit referred to below. 

After a divorce order becomes final, you have a time limit of 12 months to apply to the court for financial orders. The Court can give permission to apply outside of the time limit in certain cases. We recommend that you obtain legal advice about financial matters before you apply for a divorce.

How we can help

We can help you prepare an Application for Divorce whether as a Joint Application or a Sole Application.

We can also provide you with representation in complex divorces, for example where:

  • The divorce is contested
  • A court appearance is required
  • Your former partner cannot be located or is evading service
  • The 12-month period includes a period in which you were separated “under one roof”


Book a Free Introductory Call

In this free 15-minute call, we will confirm if we can assist with your case, answer any questions you have about our services, and discuss the next steps. This call is with David Gale, Director & Accredited Specialist in Family Law.