Separation and Divorce


Separation is a challenging time for anyone who has gone through it. Most people say it is the worst time of their lives.

Many people who have gone through a separation talk about the benefits of having someone to talk to about their thoughts and feelings such as a friend or family member.

There are also many community organisations and professionals who can assist you and your children to adjust to the challenges and changes separation brings. Your GP can often be a good starting point.

Getting Help

If things are getting on top of you these services are available to assist 24 hours a day:

If you are considering a separation, it is important to seek legal advice from a qualified Family Lawyer. We can advise you so that you avoid the pitfalls and begin the process knowing where you stand.


Divorce is the term many people think of when a marriage comes to an end. In reality, divorce is one of the last steps to happen after a married couple separates. Whilst divorce marks the legal end of a marriage it does not resolve:

Divorce is a formality to be considered once the living arrangements for children and the division of property and maintenance issues have been finalised.

In Australia, either party to a marriage may apply for a Divorce (known as a “Divorce Order”). The Federal Circuit Court of Australia is the Court which usually hears Divorce Applications. For the Court to grant a Divorce Order it has to be satisfied:

  • That the parties have been separated for at least 12 months and that there are no reasonable prospects they will reconcile.
  • That at least one of the parties is an Australian citizen or resident or considers Australia to be their permanent home.

If there are children under 18 years of age:

  • The Court will not grant a Divorce Order unless it is satisfied that appropriate arrangements have been made in respect of their care.
  • Unless both parties make a joint Application for Divorce, the Applicant will be required to attend the Divorce Hearing.

It is important to be aware once a Divorce Order is granted you only have 12 months from the date of the Order to finalise your property settlement by Consent Orders or filing an Application in the Family Law Courts for property adjustment Orders. Once the 12 month period has expired you cannot make an application for Consent Orders or if necessary, file an Application for property adjustment Orders without firstly seeking leave (or permission) from the Court to do so. There is no guarantee leave will be granted.

It’s very important that you seek legal advice from an experienced Family Lawyer if you are contemplating making a Divorce Application.

Further information about divorce may be obtained from the Federal Circuit Court of Australia.

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