Applying for a Divorce?
Read this blog post to find the answers to some more frequently asked questions:
1. Who can apply for a divorce in Australia?
2. How do I apply for a divorce?
3. Do I need to attend the divorce hearing?
4. Why are there questions about our children in the Application for Divorce?
5. What are the time limits for serving the Application for Divorce?
Who can apply for a divorce in Australia?
You can apply for a divorce in Australia if either 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.
How do I apply for a divorce?
To apply for a divorce, you can download a divorce kit from the Family Court of Western Australia website. You can either file a sole application for divorce (by yourself) or a joint application for divorce (with your spouse).
You may complete the Application for Divorce yourself, or make an appointment with Applecross Family Lawyers on 0474 458 340 and we can do it for you.
Once you have completed the Application for Divorce, you will need to swear or affirm the document before an appropriate witness, being a Justice of the Peace, or a lawyer who has held a practising certificate for at least two years and who holds a current practising certificate.
Once the Application for Divorce form has been completed and signed, make two photocopies and file the original and the two copies at the Family Court of WA. You may do this electronically, by post, or by attending the Family Court in person. You will need to file a copy of your marriage certificate. If you were married in Australia you can obtain a copy of your marriage certificate from the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages. If your marriage certificate is not in English you will need to file an English translation of your marriage certificate and an affidavit from the translator. You will need to also file supporting affidavits if you were separated but living under the same roof, or if you are unable to obtain a copy of your marriage certificate.
Do I need to attend the divorce hearing?
You and your spouse are not required to attend the divorce hearing if there are no children of the marriage under the age of 18 years, or if you are filing a joint application for divorce.
You are required to attend the divorce hearing, if there is a child of the marriage under the age of 18 years and you filed a sole Application for Divorce.
Why are there questions about our children in the Application for Divorce?
The Family Court has to be satisfied that the arrangements for the children are adequate in the circumstances before they can grant the divorce. The Family Court will not hear any dispute about the arrangements for the children, or make any decisions about the children, at the divorce hearing.
What are the time limits for serving the Application for Divorce on my spouse?
If you filed a sole application for divorce, you must serve a sealed copy of the Application for Divorce and the Family Court brochure on your spouse:
- at least 28 days before the hearing date, if your spouse is in Australia; or
- at least 42 days before the hearing date, if your spouse is overseas.
For further information about obtaining a divorce, and our costs, please contact Applecross Family Lawyers on (08) 9364 9915 or 0474 458 340.