Arbon Legal Group

Filing for Divorce: What You Need to Know

I never imagined I would be divorced.

When my husband and I first decided to split, I was shocked. I couldn’t believe that our marriage was over.

At first, it felt like a battle of who could cry the loudest or who looked the saddest. In reality, most divorcing couples are just trying to do what’s best for their children.

Couple is divorced who handed their engagement ring to the divorce documents

But no matter how amicable a divorce may seem, it’s always difficult and stressful. Parents going through a divorce often feel like they’re on an emotional roller coaster.

We were lucky that we were able to remain close friends throughout the divorce process. We both wanted what was best for our kids, and we knew that we had to put them first.

I will never forget the day that my ex-husband dropped our daughter off at my house. She was so happy to see me, and I could tell that she had missed me dearly.

It was bittersweet seeing them together. I knew that their time together would be limited, but I was happy that they were still able to spend time together.

Even though our divorce was difficult, I’m grateful that we were able to make it through it as smoothly as possible. Our kids are our top priority and we will always put them first.


Amelia’s story is just one example of how difficult divorce can be. 

This is the kind of story that we have heard at Arbon Legal Group countless times. 

The story of a family going through a divorce is often heartbreaking. But it doesn’t have to be this way. We’ll help you navigate through this tough time and come out on the other side stronger than ever.

If you’re considering starting a divorce process or are currently going through one, stick around, and we’ll give invaluable tips on how to make it as smooth as possible.

How do I start the divorce process?

The most difficult part of the divorce process is often taking the first step. It can be scary to think about ending your marriage, especially if you have children.

Many couples filing for divorce will do so jointly. However, if one of the parties doesn’t agree then a sole divorce application will be necessary. 

Divorce mediation with psychologist

Whether a joint or a sole application, evidence will be needed to support an application for a divorce.The documents that will need to be filed may include, depending on your situation, the following:

  • Marriage Certificate 
  • Proof of citizenship 
  • Change of Name Certificate
  • Visa documentation
  • An Affidavit (If required)

An affidavit is a statement of truth sworn by you. You may be required to file an affidavit when:

  • You don’t have a copy of your marriage certificate.
  • If you have been married for less than two years and have not attended marriage counseling.
  • If you and your spouse have lived in the same home during the 12-month minimum separation period.
  • Your surname is different from your maiden name.
  • You have not been able to serve your spouse and do not know where they are.
  • Your marriage certificate is not in English.

Filing with the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia

The Family Law Act 1975 gives the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia jurisdiction to hear divorce (dissolution) cases under Part VI.

A court filing fee must be paid when you submit your application. The current court filing fee is $990. If you have a Commonwealth concession card you may be entitled to a reduced rate of $330. 

If you’re planning to file a sole application for divorce you must serve them with the application at least 28 days before the hearing date. If serving outside of Australia, give yourself 42 days. Once the documents have been served then an affidavit of service must be filed so that the court will be able to see that your ex knows about the date the case is being heard.

There is no need for either party to be served if it is a joint application.

Many couples filing for divorce will do so jointly. However, if one of the parties doesn’t agree then a sole divorce application will be necessary. 

Divorce applications are filed online through the Commonwealth Courts Portal. This is a free service that allows you to access your court file anytime.

Do I need to attend the court hearing?

If it is a sole application and there are children of the marriage under the age of 18 then you will need to attend court. This is so that the Registrar dealing with the application may be satisfied that appropriate arrangements have been made for the children.

For joint applications or where there are no children under the age of 18 then you do not need to attend and the application will be dealt with on the paperwork alone.

What happens after the court hearing?

Once a court has checked the application, and assuming all of the paperwork is in order, then the court will make an order granting the divorce. The order will take effect a month after the date of the hearing.

Judge gavel deciding on marriage divorce signing papers. lawyer concept

These days no hard copy orders are posted out so you will need to check the Commonwealth Courts Portal to download a copy of the divorce order once it has taken effect.

In the midst of a divorce, remember: You’re not alone. Our top-rated lawyers at Arbon Legal Group are here to help you through every step of the process.

Give us a call today and start planning for your future.

Nicole Jevtovic
Nicole Jevtovic has worked in Family, Domestic Violence and Criminal Law her entire legal career. During her years as a divorce lawyer and criminal lawyer, Nicole has appeared in court on almost a daily basis. She has extensive experience in court advocacy and has even run trials herself as a solicitor advocate. While she enjoys court representation, Nicole aims to resolve her client’s matters in the most cost effective and stress-free way possible which is why she is an advocate for mediation and negotiation outside of court.
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