Divorce is emotionally and mentally stressful. It might be one of the hardest experiences you’ve ever been through.
That’s why it’s so important to have the right people standing beside you.
At , we’ve been guiding our clients through separations and divorces since 1955. We’re the most experienced family law firm on the Gold Coast, and we know exactly how to navigate the complexities of modern divorce.
If your relationship is broken, it’s time to take the next step.
Your future starts with the right divorce outcome.
About Divorce in Australia
In Australia, you can only get divorced if you, your partner and your lawyers prove to the court that your marriage has suffered an ‘irretrievable breakdown’, which means there’s no reasonable likelihood you’ll mend your relationship. It doesn’t matter why you’re getting divorced – neither you nor your partner are at fault, and the reasons for your separation won’t affect the court’s decision.
Applying for divorce is usually a straightforward process. It’s possible to get divorced without hiring a family lawyer, but having a legal professional handle your matter is normally faster, easier and safer.
Why? There can sometimes be complications in the divorce process, which makes having an expert family lawyer invaluable. A skilled divorce solicitor can explain problems and work with you to formulate solutions that help you move forwards in the best possible manner.
Who can apply for divorce?
To apply for divorce, you must be either:
- an Australian citizen.
You and your partner must be:
- separated for more than 12 months (including under the same roof)
How to Start the Divorce Process in Queensland
Before you make an application for divorce with the court, you must be able to answer ‘yes’ to the following questions.
- Are you or your partner an Australian citizen or a long-term Australian resident?
- Has your marriage broken down and is there no chance of you and your partner getting back together?
- Have you been separated from your partner for at least 12 months and one day?
- Have proper arrangements been made for the care, welfare and development of any children of the relationship?
- Do you have your marriage certificate?
Note: if you are living in the same house, you need to prove that you live separate lives.
If you can’t answer ‘yes’ to the above questions, but still believe you’re eligible for a divorce, get in touch with us for specific advice on your circumstances.
If you can answer ‘yes’ to the above questions and you want to move forward with filing for divorce, seek legal advice to assist with filing the application for divorce with the court. Alternatively, you can register with the Commonwealth Courts Portal, and begin filing your application by following the steps set out on their website.
If you are unable to file your divorce application, contact one of our experienced divorce lawyers to help you successfully file your application for divorce.
Sole Applicant Divorce in Queensland
An application for a divorce can be filed by both you and your partner (joint application), or by either one of you individually (sole application). Although the same online application process is used for both joint and sole applications, you’ll have different obligations depending on which way you choose to file.
Where you and your partner file a joint application, neither party needs to attend court, even if you have children under 18 years of age.
Where there is a sole application by either you or your partner, the sealed application must be served on the other party, and proof of service must be provided to the court. If there you have children under 18 years of age, the applicant (you or your partner) must appear for the hearing of the divorce application.
Same-Sex Divorce in Queensland
Since 9 December 2017, all Australian same-sex marriages are treated in exactly the same way as other Australian marriages. The same divorce processes apply to both same-sex marriages and heterosexual marriages.
Gold Coast Divorce FAQs
Do both spouses have to apply for a divorce together?
No. An application for a divorce can be made by one of the spouse parties acting on their own. Alternatively, if you both agree to get divorced, you can make a joint application.
Do I have to go to court for my divorce application?
Unless you have children under the age of 18, you won’t normally have to go to court. If you want, you’re able to attend court when the court considers the application and decides whether to grant the divorce order.
What documents do I need to file for a divorce?
You’ll normally need a copy of your marriage certificate to accompany your divorce application. If the marriage took place overseas and is in a language other than English, you’ll need a translated version and a supportive affidavit by the translator.
Are there any time limits I should be aware of?
Yes. An important limitation period starts from the date that the divorce application takes effect. From that point onwards, you and your ex-spouse have only 12 months in which to apply for a property adjustment order (a family law property settlement) or a maintenance order.
If you miss that deadline, it’s sometimes possible to obtain the court’s permission to begin a case after the 12 months have lapsed. Unfortunately, permission to start a case late may not be given, so it’s always better to be apply for orders before the deadline arrives. If you’re worried you’ve run out or might run out of time, get in touch with one of our family lawyers immediately.
What about my Will?
Getting a divorce may invalidate your Will. In Queensland, a divorce revokes those parts of a Will that would otherwise see property or power to act as trustee or executor going to your ex-spouse (although, depending on your circumstances, there may be exceptions to this rule).
It’s essential to get legal advice about your Will and when going through a divorce. Get in touch with our Wills and Estate Planning team to assess how your plans for the future might be impacted by a separation.
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Please note that all information on this page is general information only. It is not legal advice and should not be taken as such or relied upon. If you think you might need to talk to a solicitor, get in touch with one of our Gold Coast divorce lawyers.