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In this video, Lawyer, Dakota DeSantis discusses what you need to know about applying for a divorce.


Hi, my name is Dakota and I’m a Solicitor here in the Family Law Department and OMB Solicitors, I just wanted to have a quick chat with you today just in relation to how you would make an application for divorce, obviously, once you have separated from your spouse.

So the first step initially would be to file an application on the Commonwealth Courts portal. Obviously, there are many different avenues available in filing an application for divorce. One of the main things that you would need to consider, first of all, would be whether obviously, the relationship is amicable.

If the relationship is amicable, then you could consider doing a joint application for divorce, which would involve fewer costs for yourselves, and also that there’s less a process involved and it wouldn’t require service on the other party, which can make it a little bit nicer during such a difficult time. Whereas if obviously, if you guys are not amicable and the relationship breakdown is a lot more toxic, you would need to make an application for a cell application, which would involve filing the application for divorce and also the process of serving it on the other party.

So once the application is drafted on the Commonwealth Courts portal and we can obviously assist in doing that with you, we would need to sit down with you and get all the information from you as to whether you have children involved or if there have been property settlement proceedings. And we would also step through the different aspects of the application as well. Once you have got all the information in relation to the application for divorce, then we would arrange for it to be filed after both parties have signed it.

In the case of a joint application or if it’s a sole application, you would just sign the application for divorce. Then once that application has been filed, you would then arrange for the process server to serve the divorce and that would be for a sole application only, whereas if it’s a joint application, you will simply be given a listed court date. If you do file a joint application for divorce and there is no children involved that are under the age of 18 years, or even if there are children involved in the relationship, then you do not need to attend the court.

It’s simply a matter for you. You can if you wish to do so, but it’s a request that you need to make through the Federal Circuit Court of Australia, which we can do for you. If it is a sole application and you do have children under the age of 18 years, you will have to attend court and both parties will be required to do that. There are a few things that you need to consider before applying for an application for divorce.

The first thing that you need to consider is whether you have been married for a period of two years. Unfortunately, if you haven’t been married for a period of two years, you need to wait until that time has passed before you can file an application for divorce. And the other main thing that you also need to make sure that you qualify for is that the relationship has been broken down for a period of 12 months. You can have had counselling, which can make that gap shorter, but you will have to have been separated for the 12 month period in any other case and also have to have been married for two years.

A lot of people think that you cannot get a divorce before you have commenced proceedings or finalised your property settlement. That is not correct. There are timeframes in place once you do file an application for divorce. So, for example, if you are married and you want to get a divorce and you file that divorce, you have a period of 12 months to then finalise your property settlements from the date of finalising your divorce. If you were in a de facto relationship, you have a pair of two year period of finalizing your property settlement.