On good terms or not,
we've got your back.
The best thing you can do right now is arm yourself with as much
information about the divorce process as possible.
Understanding the divorce process in Australia.
Separating from your spouse/partner can be traumatic and cause much uncertainty. Our team of Accredited Family Law Specialists have extensive experience to assist you through the changes in your circumstances, whether they be financial and/or parenting related.
We will guide you through the process and explain your rights and responsibilities in a way that is understandable, and without complicated legal jargon.
Do I need a lawyer to apply for a divorce?
Applying for a divorce order is separate to an application for parenting orders or orders for the division of assets. An application for divorce can be made by one spouse, or by both spouses together.
If you wish to apply for a divorce without the assistance of a lawyer, 'divorce kits' are available from the Family Law Courts. If you would prefer to have a lawyer prepare and lodge the application on your behalf we are happy to assist. Sometimes people prefer to use a lawyer for divorce applications, particularly if there are potential difficulties or complications.
We recommend that you obtain legal advice prior to applying for a divorce so that you are aware of how a divorce order may impact on your entitlements with respect to property division, spousal maintenance and/or your Will.
What is an annulment?
An Annulment is not a divorce. It is a declaration by the Court that the marriage was not a legal marriage. Therefore the marriage is void. Annulments are extremely rare as they may be granted only if:
- You were forced, coerced or tricked into the marriage;
- You or your partner were under 18 year of age at the time of the marriage;
- You did not understand that the ceremony you took part in was a wedding ceremony;
- Your partner was already married and not legally divorced at the time of the wedding;
- Your partner is a close relative such as a sibling, parent, grandparent or child.
Do I need to change my Will before obtaining a divorce?
Separating from your spouse or partner will not automatically remove them as a beneficiary of your Will. Many couples make Wills which leave some or all of their estate to their partner.
If you no longer wish for your partner to inherit from your estate it is important to change your Will.
When can I change my Will?
You can change your Will at any time. If you are separated you can change your Will to reflect your new circumstances or in anticipation of your divorce. It is very important that your Will reflects your current intentions and it should be reviewed after any significant life event.
Do I still need to change my Will if my partner wasn't a beneficiary?
Even if your partner was not expressly listed as a beneficiary under your old Will it is preferable to create a new Will after separation to ensure that your intentions are clear.
How do I change my Will?
The easiest way to change your Will is to make a new one. You can purchase a Will kit from most post offices, which contains a guide to preparing a Will. If you choose to write your own Will, it is important to take note of all of the technical elements required to make a Will valid. If your Will is invalid, your estate will be distributed as if the invalid Will did not exist.
We recommend having a lawyer prepare your Will to ensure that it is valid and legally binding. Your lawyer may also be able to safely store your Will for you. We recommend that you obtain legal advice before preparing a Will.
What is spousal maintenance?
Spousal maintenance refers to payments made by one partner/spouse to assist the other partner/spouse with meeting the costs of living.
Spousal maintenance is not an automatic entitlement and it must be applied for to the Family Law Court of Australia. A spouse/partner can also resist an application.
Our experienced Family Law Accredited Specialists can assist with spousal maintenance matters.
Speak with a lawyer.
Divorce is a tricky process to navigate. An Accredited Specialist Family Lawyer can help provide strategic advice to you based on your unique situation.
What next steps should I consider?
Get as much information as possible
At the early stages, finding out as much information as you can about your entitlements and planning your future is an ideal place to start.
By completing our online tool, our lawyers can advise you on your appropriate next steps. It is completely free and confidential.
- Complete our free online planning tool
- I have children and am concerned about their wellbeing
- I may require child support or spousal maintenance or be asked to pay it
Resources & FAQs
Answers to common questions in
relation to the expertise.
It is rare that a court will order no contact between a parent and child, however greater weight will be placed on the need to protect a child from physical or psychological harm, over having a meaningful relationship with both parents.
Commencing today (29 April 2020) the Australian Family Courts have established a court list dedicated to deal exclusively with urgent parenting-related disputes that have arisen due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
A de facto relationship is defined in section 4 AA of the Family Law Act 1975 as a relationship in which a couple lived together on a genuine domestic basis.