How To Apply For Divorce

How To Apply For Divorce - Resolve Conflict Family LawyersDivorce is the official ending of a marriage and in of itself the process of applying and being granted a divorce isn’t particularly difficult.

The following article looks only at the process of applying for divorce in Australia and it must be noted that divorce proceedings do not finalise any arrangements regarding parenting and property. These types of orders need to be filed on a separate application.

Who can apply for divorce?

To apply for divorce in Australia either you or your spouse need to:

  • regard Australia as your home and intend to live in Australia indefinitely, or
  • are 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.

Eligibility for divorce

Once you have been separated for 12 months and 1 day, and there is no reasonable likelihood that you will get back together with your spouse, you are eligible to apply for divorce.

Separated under the one roof

It is possible to be separated and still live in the same home. Separated couples living under the one roof will need to provide an affidavit when apply for divorce.

Related Article: We’ve Separated – Does One Of Us Need To Move Out?

Applying for divorce

There are two options when applying for divorce, either solely or jointly.

Sole application

If you make a sole application, you are known as the applicant and the other party is known as the respondent. With a sole application, there is a requirement that the application is served upon the other party (respondent), and that appropriate proof is provided to confirm that the application has been served.

Joint application

For a joint application, both parties are known as joint applicants. By applying jointly, removes the need to serve the other party with the divorce application, as both parties we be able to sign the application prior to it being filed.

The application itself is fairly straightforward, providing that you have all the documents required to accompany the application. When the application has been filed, the matter is allocated a hearing date.

Attendance at court

Court attendance is only required if you have filed a sole application and there is a child of the marriage aged under 18 years at the time of filing or you have indicated that you wish to attend in the application.

Can my spouse refuse the divorce?

Both parties aren’t obligated to sign the divorce application, if one spouse doesn’t want the divorce to proceed they have very limited grounds to oppose the divorce and it is likely the divorce will still take place.

Related Article: Can My Spouse Refuse To Get Divorced?

How long does it take to obtain a divorce order?

Obtaining a final Divorce Order generally takes at least 4 months from the date of filing the application. Note, this process can take longer if there are problems locating or serving the other party.

How much does it cost to apply for divorce?

There is a filing fee for Application for Divorce, which is currently $910. In some cases a reduced fee may be sought for a divorce application if you hold certain government concession cards or can demonstrate financial hardship.

Legal advice

It’s advised that you obtain legal advice to understand your rights and responsibilities before apply for a divorce or other application in relation to a divorce. A lawyer can help explain how the law applies to your specific case.


Note: This is general information advice only and does not constitute specific legal advice. If you would like further information in relation to this matter or other legal matters, please contact Resolve Conflict Family Lawyers in Melbourne on 03 9620 0088 or email

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