Every divorce is different, but everyone goes through the same legal steps to get a divorce. This short guide will tell you everything you need to know about getting a divorce in Australia.
No-Fault Divorce in Australia
In Australia, you don’t have to prove that anyone was to blame for your divorce. Factors like cheating or lying don’t carry any weight because the court doesn’t consider why the marriage ended. It’s enough if one person in the marriage can show that the marriage has ‘irretrievably broken down’.
How much does it cost to get a divorce in Australia?
There are a few costs you need to consider when getting a divorce.
Federal Circuit Court of Australia Fees for Divorce
The Federal Circuit Court is the court that grants divorces in Australia. You need to pay a fee to the court to apply for a divorce. This is known as a ‘filing fee’.
The amount of the filing fee changes from year to year. In 2020, it’s $910. You can find an updated list of the Court Fees here.
Certain people, like those who receive Government benefits, might be eligible for a reduced court fee. You can read more about eligibility for reduced court fees here.
If you use a lawyer, you’ll also pay the lawyer’s fees. While this sounds expensive, it doesn’t need to be.
Altria Law worked hard to turn the legal model on its head to put you back in control. You’ll never be left in the dark about how much your legal matter will cost and we’ll ensure you see value in everything we do.
How long does it take to get a divorce in Australia?
At a minimum, you’re looking at 18 months from when you separate. But the actual time varies from case to case.
You’ll need to wait at least 12 months from when you separate since this is the period of time the court requires you to show you’ve been separated.
After 12 months, you can submit your application for divorce.
You can submit a sole application without your ex-partner’s consent or participation. If you do, you need to serve them with the divorce documents and file an Affidavit of Service. This will lengthen the process.
If you file a joint application with your ex-partner, the process is a little faster and less complex.
After you submit your application, you’ll receive a hearing date in the future. If your divorce is granted at the hearing, your divorce will be finalised one month after the hearing date.
Speak to one of our experienced family lawyers to find out more about how long your divorce will take.
What about dividing your assets?
In Australia, your assets (like your family home, your savings, and any debt) need to be fairly divided. But this is a separate process to a divorce. You can legally divide your assets without applying for a divorce. And you can apply for a divorce without separating your assets. Find out more here.
You should apply to the court within 12 months of your divorce if you want legal maintenance or a division of your property. If you don’t, you’ll need to get permission from the court to apply (which is more expensive).
You don’t need to navigate the Australian legal system alone. The friendly lawyers at Altria Law are here to help you.
We speak your language. No legalese, just down-to-earth advice that will help you get through your divorce with confidence.