Get the Help You Need from Our Perth Family, Separation & Divorce Lawyers
Australia has a no-fault divorce system – the court does not consider why the marriage came to an end. You simply need to establish that the marriage has broken down irretrievably which is done by separating and thereafter living separately and apart for a continuous period of not less than 12 months immediately preceding the date of the filing of the application for the divorce order and that there is no reasonable likelihood of cohabitation being resumed. If there are children of the marriage who have not attained 18 years* of age then the divorce order does not take effect unless the court has also, by order, declared that it is satisfied that the only children of the marriage who have not attained 18 years* of age are the children specified in the order and that proper arrangements in all the circumstances have been made for the care, welfare and development of those children or that there are circumstances by reason of which the divorce order should take effect even though the court is not satisfied that such arrangements have been made.
A divorce order does not resolve how your property will be distributed between the two of you or where your children will live. Property, maintenance and parenting matters need to be dealt with separately.
We can help you resolve your divorce as simply as possible
You can apply for a divorce if you or your spouse:
- regard Australia as your home and intend to live in Australia indefinitely, or
- are an Australian citizen by birth, descent or by grant of Australian citizenship, or
- ordinarily live in Australia and have done so for 12 months immediately before filing for divorce.
There is a filing fee for divorce applications. Current fees are available on the website for the Family Court of WA. You may be eligible for a reduced fee if you are experiencing financial hardship or hold some types of government concession cards. With joint applications both you and your spouse will need to be eligible for the same reduction.
If you don’t want the divorce application to proceed you will need to establish that there has not been 12 months of separation or that the court does not have jurisdiction. You must file a Response to Divorce form within the required time frames.
You may or may not need to attend the divorce hearing depending on your circumstances.
* A child of the marriage includes:
- any child of you and your spouse, including children born before the marriage or after separation;
- any child adopted by you and your spouse; or
- any child who was treated as a member of your family prior to your final separation, for example, a step-child.
You and your spouse may have separated but continued living in the same home. If so, you will need to prove to the court that you were separated during this time by filing an affidavit setting out additional information.
If you have been married for less than two years (from the date of the marriage to the date of the application) you will need to file a counselling certificate obtained by attending appropriate counselling. You must also meet the other requirements outlined above.
Contact our office in Mount Lawley, Perth for advice about your divorce
If you were divorced overseas, it may be recognised in Australia if the divorce was effected in accordance with the laws of that country and meets the requirements set out in the Family Law Act 1975 s. 104.
Contact us to discuss your specific situation and to make an appointment