The Process of Filing for Divorce

12th April 2024

In Family Law, property settlements and divorce are often used as interchangeable phrases. However, the process of parties negotiating and separating their financial assets is a separate process to filing for a divorce. The RMB Lawyers Family & Relationships Law Division explains:

When a relationship breakdown occurs, parties to the relationship often will need to reach agreement about arrangements for any children of the relationship as well as how they are seeking to disperse their financial assets and effectively end their financial relationship.

Whilst these are necessary steps, applying for a divorce is a separate process that is required for married couples who wish to separate.

The actual process of applying for a divorce is a relatively simple process compared to other facets of Family Law. The main things that anyone who has undergone a relationship breakdown should know are:

  1. You must be separated from your partner for at least 12 months prior to applying for a divorce;
  2. This time will be re-started if you and your partner reconcile your relationship for longer than three months;
  3. If you have been married for less than two years, the Court will require you to attend marriage counselling or to explain in an Affidavit why they should grant the divorce.

A divorce application can be made as a sole application, meaning that one party is filing the application and incurring the relevant costs, or it can be made as a joint application. A joint application entails both parties completing the application and sharing its costs.

It is important to be aware of certain limitation periods when going through the processes of separation. For example, once you are divorced, parties only have one year from the date of divorce to finalise their property settlements.

If you have any questions or concerns in relation to divorce, property settlements or parenting issues, your first step should be to contact our office to arrange a free consultation. You can contact us by by phone or our 'Ask a Question' tool on our website.