A divorce marks a significant life milestone. Parting ways with your partner can prove to be an immensely trying period, leaving you with a sense of being overwhelmed and anxious about the future. Divorce proceedings are seldom straightforward, and often charged with emotional intensity.

At Movement Legal we assist people in relation to the divorce process, as well as most areas of family law, including:

  • Divorce applications
  • Separation
  • Property Settlements
  • Binding Financial Agreements (BFAs)
  • Drafting and negotiating Consent Orders
  • Parenting and Children arrangements, orders and plans
  • Breaches of Parenting Orders
  • Child Recovery Orders
  • AVOs / ADVOs / Intervention Orders
  • Spousal Maintenance

At Movement Legal, you will be in the hands of family law experts who have seen it all, and have assisted many people facing situations similar to yours.

The legal definition of divorce

Divorce is the legal process whereby you separate from your spouse and bring a formal end of the marriage relationship.

The ensuring property settlement and parenting arrangements that follow separation can become complex and the centre of conflict, particularly when ex-partners cannot come to decisions easily.

How does the Divorce process work in Australia?

You can apply after you have been separated for 12 months, with no chance of a reconciliation. The actual divorce application can be made by you, your ex-partner or both parties together. Doing it together will result in a quicker and cheaper process, without requiring attendance at Court. Depending on your circumstances, the Divorce process can take between 6 weeks and 6 months to go through.

Within 12 months of your divorce, you will need to commence your property settlement. However you do not need to wait until then – issues of property and children can be directly addressed as soon as you have separated.

Some common questions answered

Cost of divorce of the divorce application

Costs will depend on whether there is any dispute, if lawyers need to attend the court hearing, and the filing charge of the FCFOA (Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia).

Do I need to go to Court?

If only one member of the couple applies, or children are involved then you (or your representative) will be required to attend Court.

Do I need to provide reasons?

The Court will only need to know that separation has occurred – not the reasons for it. There is no need to explain the reasons behind the breakdown in relationship; there is no set of acceptable reasons that you will need to demonstrate. Neither party needs to prove that the other was at fault, or that they were not at fault.

When can I apply?

Before you can obtain a divorce, you will need to show that you have been separated for 12 months or more.

What happens to children?

The Court is responsible for deciding on parenting arrangements for children at divorce. The Court is required to consider the best interests of the children. A major question for the Court will be who should have parental responsibility for them. Usually both parents will share this parental responsibility, unless a Court order decides otherwise.

What happens to my house?

The formal divorce process itself isn’t concerned with property and assets. This is dealt with in the property settlement. After divorce there is a 12 month limit to bring proceedings for a property settlement if you and your ex-spouse cannot reach your own agreement out of court.

Before filing for divorce, you will need to have been separated for 12 months.

If you meet the eligibility requirements, you can organise divorce paperwork and file a divorce application within 28 days. Divorce Orders typically take 2 to 3 months to process after they're filed, but can take longer if one or both parties are making it difficult to serve.

Issues around property division, and parenting issues are much more complex than the formal divorce application. They can be addressed once you are separated, and it can be hard to generalise on timelines for these processes.

Mediation is rarely used during the divorce process itself. 

However it is commonly used help resolve disputes surrounding assets or children. Typically, mediation can be cheaper, less stressful and easier than going through the Court system. It generally works best when both parties are able to communicate and work together.

It's important to note that parties will have to demonstrate that they have attempted Mediation / Family Dispute Resolution (FDR) when commencing Court proceedings. This means attending sessions conducted by a mediator, with the goal of both parties coming to an agreement that can be formalised by a Court at a later date.

To legally proceed with divorce there are a few things that need to be organised. These include:

  • Evidence of your marriage's validity
  • Evidence that you and your partner have been separated for at least 12 months
  • Proof that there is no hope of reconciliation
  • An Australian mailing address.

Usually, the person filing for divorce will pay a filing fee, but the costs can be shared if both parties agree. Legal fees are an additional cost and each party pays legal fees separately.

To start, simply reach out to us using either our contact form or by giving us a call. Our team is approachable and eager to assist you. We guarantee a response within one hour during our business hours.

To get started, we'll hold in a brief 5 to 20-minute conversation to get a sense of your situation, and what strategies and outcomes may be most appropriate for you.

We can then schedule an initial consultation and proceed with your case. Before commencing, we'll outline the process and set expectations to ensure alignment and that we are best place to achieve the best possible outcome for you.

Absolutely. Should you decide to transition to our firm, we can handle the process of requesting your files from your previous lawyers on your behalf.

No, there's no need for an in-person visit. We offer the flexibility to conduct meetings with you via phone, WhatsApp, Zoom, or Google Meet.

At Movement Legal, communication with our clients is valued. We'll keep you updated as your case advances through various stages and promptly respond to any emails or calls you send to our lawyers.

Why Movement Legal?

Family law specialists

Our lawyers are family law specialists, and deal with these and related legal issues daily.

We can help you with any aspect of family law - including advice around divorce and separation, child custody, property and financial arrangements, financial agreements, and more.

Fast turn around times

We will come back to you promptly with clear directions as to how we can help you and your matter. We prioritise communication with our clients to bring maximum efficiency into play.

Cost Certainty

We provide our clients with certainty and transparency on our legal fees. Wherever we can, we will quote you a fixed fee, rather than charging you by the hour.

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