Luckily, we have a Federal Circuit Court in Wollongong that deals with all aspects of Family Law including Divorce.

The Federal Circuit Court of Australia has the jurisdiction or power to deal with divorce under Part VI of the Family Law Act 1975.

You need to satisfy the Court that you and your spouse have lived separately and apart for at least 12 months, and there is no reasonable likelihood of resuming married life. However, it is possible to live together in the same residence and still be separated.

If you apply for a divorce together with your spouse, it is a joint application and you and your spouse are joint applicants. If you apply for a divorce by yourself, you are a sole applicant and your spouse is the respondent.

The current filing fee for a divorce if $865. In some cases; for example, if you hold certain government concession cards or you are experiencing financial hardship, you may be eligible for a reduced fee. To be eligible for a reduced fee for a joint application, both you and your spouse must qualify for the same reduction. If only one spouse qualifies for the reduction, then the full fee applies.

Applications for divorce must now be completed via the online interactive application for divorce. This requires registration with the Commonwealth Courts Portal. For more information, see the Guide to using the Commonwealth Courts Portal. The filing fee is payable at the time of filing the application using a MasterCard or Visa card. This service is available 24 hours a day.

If the Application for Divorce is a joint application, no service is required and the filing fee should be borne equally by the parties if the Application for Divorce is a joint application.
If the Application for Divorce is not a joint application, Acknowledgment of Service (Divorce), the prescribed brochure ‘Marriage, families and separation’ and a stamped self-addressed envelope (r 25.03 Federal Circuit Court Rules) can be served on the other party by: an independent person, post to the other party’s last known address at least 28 days before the hearing date
or to the lawyer if the lawyer representing the person agrees, in writing, to accept service of the document for the person.

If it is a joint application, the parties are not required to attend. If it is not a joint application, then the parties are not required to attend on the hearing of the application unless there are children under 18. The parties need not attend if no response has been filed, there are no children of the marriage under 18 and no request has been made to the court by the respondent not to hear the application in the absence of the parties.

From the time that you file your application, it will take approximately 2-3 months to get a date for hearing. After one month the court issues a divorce order. The divorce order contains notes that any property or maintenance application should be made within 12 months and that divorce may revoke or affect the operation of a will.

If you would like to speak to a lawyer about getting divorced, please contact Shae Mitchell for a confidential discussion.