Arbon Legal Group

How do I file for Divorce?

It wasn’t an easy decision, but after months of reflection and soul-searching, you’ve come to the conclusion that it’s time to file for divorce.

Even though you know it’s the right thing to do, the process of getting a divorce can be daunting and stressful.

Every case is unique and a plan has to be developed that meets its specific needs. 

It’s a process that puts a lot of stress on both parties involved.

Where do you even begin?

At its core, filing for divorce is a legal process. A competent and experienced family lawyer will be able to guide you through the process and ensure that your rights are protected.

Start by filing an Application for Divorce, this can be either joint or sole, depending on your situation. In case of a joint application, both you and your spouse will need to sign the application listed as Applicant 1 and Applicant 2 respectively.

While a sole application for divorce can be filed by either party, it’s important to note that the process will be different. In a sole application, you will be the Applicant and your spouse will be the Respondent.

Supporting Documents

Divorce is never an easy process, regardless of the circumstances.

There is a lot of paperwork and documents that need to be submitted in order for the divorce to be granted.

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

This is why it is important to make sure that all the supporting documents needed when filing a divorce are available and ready. Below are some of the supporting documents that you will need:

  • Marriage Certificate
  • Proof of citizenship document
  • Change of Name Certificate
  • Visa documentation
  • An Affidavit if required

Preparing an Affidavit may be required in a variety of legal situations such as:

  1. You are missing a copy of your Marriage Certificate
  2. You and your spouse have lived under the same roof during the 12-month separation period
  3. You and your spouse have been living  under the same roofduring the 12-month minimum separation period
  4. You and your spouse have been married for less than 2 years and have not attended counselling
  5. Your surname is different from your married or maiden name
  6. You are unable to serve your spouse and don’t know where they are
  7. The court may also require an Affidavit from a third party, such as a neighbour who can verify your situation

Once you have gathered all the required documents, you can file for divorce with the Federal Circuit  and Family Court of Australia. The filing is done electronically through the court portal. A filing fee will be required which may be subject to reduction if you have a concession card or have been granted Legal Aid.

The next step is to serve your spouse, if you file a sole application. You must serve your spouse 28 days before the divorce hearing and 42 days if your spouse resides outside Australia. There is no need to serve your spouse if you and your spouse have filed a joint application.

Divorce mediation with psychologist

The service of documents can be a difficult process when you are trying to serve your spouse. If you are having trouble serving your spouse you may need to  request an Order for substituted service. A substituted service Order  allows you to notify your spouse of the Application using different methods. Sometimes, the Court may dispense with the need for you to serve your spouse at all. 

Your application for divorce may be adjourned and dismissed if you did not obtain susbstituted service orders and have not been able to serve your spouse.

If you are considering filing for divorce, it is important to speak with an experienced lawyer who can help guide you through the process. 

At Arbon Legal Group, we have years of experience helping clients navigate this difficult time. We understand that every case is unique and we will work with you to develop a plan that meets your specific needs. 

Contact us today for a consultation and let us help you start the next chapter of your life.

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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