How Long Does a Divorce Take in Queensland?

When you are considering ending a marriage, it’s natural to wonder, "How long does a divorce take?" In Queensland, the duration of the divorce process can vary significantly, influenced by personal circumstances and legal complexities. Below we will provide you with a clear understanding of the divorce process in Queensland, focusing on some logistical aspects that may affect the timeline of your divorce.


Understanding the Divorce Process in Queensland

Divorce in Queensland is primarily governed by the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth), which applies uniformly across Australia. The process is designed to ensure that all matters are handled fairly and that both parties have an opportunity to present their case.


Understanding Key Legal Definitions

Before diving into the process, let’s clarify a few essential legal terms:

  • Divorce: The formal termination of a marriage by a court.
  • Separation: A period when a couple lives apart, crucial for fulfilling the prerequisites for divorce.
  • Divorce Order: The final legal document issued by a court that officially ends a marriage.


Initial Considerations and Legal Prerequisites

Under the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth), there are some specific steps and criteria that must be met before a divorce can be granted in Queensland:

  • Mandatory Separation Period: Couples must be separated for at least 12 months and one day, which serves as proof that the marriage has irretrievably broken down. If you have been separated and living under one roof, you will need to provide an affidavit to support your application,  
  • Residency Requirement: At least one spouse must regard Australia as their home and intend to live in Australia indefinitely, or they must be an Australian citizen by birth, descent, or by grant of Australian citizenship, or ordinarily live in Australia and have done so for 12 months immediately before filing for divorce. 
  • Arrangements for Children: If the couple has children under 18, the court must be satisfied that proper arrangements have been made for their care. 

Filing for Divorce

Once the necessary separation period has been satisfied, how long does a divorce take to process? The next steps include filing a divorce application, which can be submitted jointly or individually, and preparing for the subsequent legal proceedings. You can do this online


Factors Influencing the Duration of a Divorce

Several key factors can affect the duration of the divorce process:

  • Application Types: Sole Applications v Joint Applications. Joint applications are typically processed faster than sole applications as this suggests mutual agreement. Sole applications may require additional time for serving documents and awaiting responses.
  • Children Under 18: The courts need to ensure that the welfare of children is properly addressed which can prolong the process. 
  • Disputes Over Property or Custody: Conflicts regarding asset division or custody arrangements often require extensive negotiation and potential court hearings, further extending the timeline.


Typical Divorce Timeline

The court typically schedules a hearing within 3 to 4 months after the divorce application is filed. If there are no complications, the divorce may be granted at this hearing. However, the process only officially concludes when the Divorce Order is issued one month and one day after the hearing.


How to Expedite Your Divorce

Efficiently managing the divorce process can be facilitated by:

  1. Complete Documentation: Ensure all forms are accurately filled out and submitted promptly.
  2. Mediation: Utilise mediation to resolve disputes, which can reduce both the timeline and emotional strain, as well as overall cost.
  3. Agreements on Major Issues: Try to reach a consensus on significant matters such as property division and child custody before entering court.


Navigating a Divorce in Queensland and Need Legal Assistance?

Understanding how long a divorce takes can help manage expectations and prepare emotionally and practically for the road ahead. At Pullos Lawyers, we are not only focused on providing legal expertise but also on offering the compassionate support you need during this challenging time. Our team is here to guide you through each step, ensuring your divorce is handled with sensitivity and care. If you are facing a divorce or contemplating one, do not hesitate to reach out to Pullos Lawyers. We are committed to supporting you through every aspect of your divorce, helping you navigate both the emotional and legal complexities, and can also assist with international family law, financial agreements and LGBTQI+ law.

Contact us today for a consultation, or explore our services page and blog for more valuable insights and guidance.