The Ultimate Divorce Guide for Couples in Australia

If you’re considering divorce in Australia, you’re not alone. Statistics show that 1 in every 3 marriages ends in divorce. While going through a separation or divorce can be overwhelming, it’s essential to reach out to friends and family for support and seek the guidance of a skilled and empathetic lawyer like Shane McClure.

Requirements for Divorce

To get a divorce in Australia, you or your spouse must consider Australia your home and intend to live here indefinitely or be an Australian citizen by birth, descent, or by grant of Australian citizenship. You can also qualify if you ordinarily live in Australia and have lived here for 12 months before filing for divorce.

You only need to show that there has been an irreparable breakdown of the relationship, established by 12 months of separation. The court will grant a divorce when it’s satisfied that your marriage has broken down irretrievably, and there is no reasonable likelihood of you resuming married life.

The Separation

Establishing the period of separation (12 months) is crucial to obtaining a divorce. If you separate under the one roof, it’s especially important to show that at least one of you has decided the marriage is over. In this case, you may need to give the Court further information to establish the separation, such as proof that your family and friends know you are separated or communications to your spouse that the marriage is over. The time you and your partner are separated must total one year, and if you reconcile for longer than three months, the time starts again.

Before You Go to Court

Before going to court for a parenting or property order, consider other resolution options available, such as mediation, collaborative law, and negotiation. If you and your partner can reach an agreement, this can be recorded as a Parenting Plan, Consent Order, or Financial Agreement, and you won’t have to attend Court.

Shane McClure is an experienced and diligent mediator that can work with you and your partner to reach an amicable conclusion. If you’re interested in undertaking mediation with your spouse, get in touch with Shane today.

Parenting Orders and Property Settlement

If you can’t reach an agreement with your former partner, you can apply to the Court for parenting and/or financial orders. Applying for a divorce does not involve these processes. The Court will determine what’s in the best interests of the children for parenting orders and decide whether the terms are just and equitable for financial and property orders.

Applying to the Court for a Divorce

The process for applying for a divorce is relatively straightforward. Once you decide to apply for a divorce, an electronic application must be made to The Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia through the Commonwealth Courts Portal. You can file a joint application or a single application.

The application will require details relating to your current residence(s), any arrangements for children under the age of 18, and any relevant court orders or agreements in place. In most cases, these types of documents should be attached to the application. You’ll also need to attach a copy of the relevant marriage certificate and any documentation sufficiently proving Australian citizenship.

When you lodge your document, you’re required to select a date for the divorce hearing, which will take place before a Registrar. If the Registrar grants the divorce, it will take effect exactly one month and one day after the court listing.

Other Factors to Consider

If you were married overseas, you may still be entitled to apply for a divorce in Australia as long as you meet the requirements set out at the start of this post.

If you’ve been married for less than two years, you’ll be required to attend counselling to see if the marriage can be reconciled. If there’s no resolution, you’ll need to provide the counselling certificate to the Court when applying for a divorce.

Need More Information?

For more information on divorce in Australia, you can visit The Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia’s online page here or get in touch with Shane McClure. With over 10+ years of experience in dealing with family law disputes, Shane provides his clients with suitable legal solutions when discussing a potential separation and its consequences. He has the experience, understanding, and compassion to help you.


Divorce can be a challenging and emotional experience, but with the right support and guidance, you can navigate the process successfully. Understanding the requirements for divorce, separation, court orders, and applying for divorce is crucial to making informed decisions about your future.

If you’re considering divorce, contact Shane McClure, an experienced and skilled family lawyer, and mediator, who can guide you through the process with empathy and expertise. With his help, you can reach a fair and amicable resolution that benefits everyone involved.

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