Thinking About Filing For Divorce? Here’s Our Legal Advice

If you are currently considering divorce, we suggest you seek legal advice at the earliest outset.

The chances are that you’re already going through a period of upheaval and stress, and there are many things that need to be considered and actioned before deciding if it’s the right solution for you.

It's important to see legal advice to assist you in finding out more about the process, to see what your options might be, and to help alleviate some of that stress. Pullos Lawyers share some key legal considerations and answer some of the most frequently asked questions regarding divorce.

What is the Legal Requirement For Divorce in Qld?

Divorce in Australia follows the no-fault principle, which was established by the Family Law Act 1975.

This means that there is only one legal requirement for getting a divorce - and that is the ‘irretrievable breakdown’ of the marriage. There is no need to know the reason for the divorce.

This breakdown can only be proven by the husband and wife being separated for 12 months, and with no likelihood of getting back together.

How Do I Apply For a Divorce?

You can apply for a divorce online via the Federal Court Circuit after registering for access to the Commonwealth Courts Portal.

You can also complete the necessary forms and post them to a Family Law Registry.

The items you will need to post include:

· An Application for Divorce form which has been signed and sworn or affirmed by a lawyer, Justice of the Peace, or an accepted witness. You must include the original document plus two photocopies;

· A photocopy of your marriage certificate;

· Any other relevant documents, such as a certificate of your citizenship or a photocopy of your visa. Include three copies of each document in your application.

You can apply as a sole applicant on your own, or with your partner. Pullos Lawyers can help you with any additional questions you may have in regards to applying, and can assist with drafting, filing and service of the application itself.

How Much Does Filing For a Divorce Cost?

How much it will cost is a common query couples ask when first considering divorce and seeking legal advice. The costs associated with applying for a Divorce Order will very according to whether you choose to have a lawyer prepare the documentation for you and whether you need to engage a process server to serve the Divorce Application on your spouse. If you would like us to give you a fixed fee quote for preparing and filing and serving your Divorce Application please call and speak to one of our Brisbane Family Lawyers on  or one of our Gold Coast family lawyers on 0755263646.

There also are a number of fees set by the courts for the application itself.

A divorce application as of December 2019 costs $900 to file in the Court. If you hold certain Government concession cards or you can demonstrate financial hardship, you may be eligible for a reduced fee (both parties must be eligible if filing a joint application) or decree of nullity at a cost of $300.

You may then need to have the Divorce Application served on your spouse. That is not something you can do yourself, service has to be effected by a third party. If you engage a process server to serve the application there will be fees payable to the process server. The amount of those fees will depend on whom you engage and how difficult it is to serve your spouse with the Divorce Application.

When Can I Apply For Divorce?

Once you and your partner have been separated for 12 months, you can apply for a divorce. That required period of separation of 12 months can include some time living separated but under the one roof. If this is the case then you will need some extra supporting affidavits to be filed by yourself and a third person who can confirm you were separated even though you were still living in the same house.

You or your partner must be an Australian citizen, or be living in Australia and regard Australia as your home.

If you are applying for divorce and you have been married less than two years, you will need to seek legal advice first. If you have been married for less than two years, the courts generally require that you participate in counselling to discuss reconciliation prior to making your divorce application. However, extenuating circumstances may allow you to apply within this time, but you will need to seek permission of the Court to apply for a divorce by filing an affidavit with your claim.

I am Looking to Remarry - How Long Will The Divorce Take to Be Granted?

A divorce will normally become final one month and one day after the divorce hearing. For those planning on remarrying after your divorce, our advice is to wait until the divorce is granted before making any wedding preparations as not all divorces will be finalised at the first hearing.

Circumstances that may hold up the granting of the divorce include when the court requires further proof of the date of separation, or further information in order to be satisfied that adequate arrangements have been made for any children under the age of 18.

Remember, you are not legally divorced and able to marry again until 1 month and 1 day after your divorce hearing has occurred and the Judge has granted the divorce.

We Are Getting a Divorce - Will Decisions Around Children and Shared Property Be Made During Our Divorce Hearing?

No. The granting of a divorce is looked at separately to the division of property, and parenting and maintenance arrangements. A separate application must be made within 12 months of the date the divorce becomes final if you are seeking maintenance or the division of property.

You also do not need to wait for a divorce order to be granted in order to bring a claim for property settlement, spousal maintenance or for orders in relation to your children (you might know those orders as “custody” and “access” orders). You can bring those claims at any time after you have separated, and sometimes even before you have separated.

If you do have children and shared property, prior to filing a divorce, it is imperative you seek legal advice to understand the process and the how these arrangements are dealt with.

Seeking a Divorce and Need Legal Advice From a Family Lawyer?

If you are considering a divorce, Pullos Lawyers are here to help you navigate through this emotionally difficult and complex time of your life. Our team of family lawyers in Brisbane and on the Gold Coast can help you with filing your divorce application, and are specialised in minimising anxiety and providing you with the best possible outcome tailored to your needs. We can also assist with a range of matters including De Facto & Same Sex Law, Spousal Maintenance, and International Family Law. Please get in touch via email, or call us in our Gold Coast office on (07) 5526 3646, or our Brisbane office on (07) 3144 1641.