Divorce and Separation


Separation is when you and your partner stop living together as a couple. It is usually the beginning of a process that ends the relationship. For married couples, a divorce marks the legal end of your marriage to each other after you have separated.

The end of a relationship is never easy, but there are steps you can take to help things run more smoothly.

Initially when you separate you need to organise your bills and paperwork, update your accounts and dividing your property and assets and understand how to manage your new financial situation.

Additionally, deciding how to care for your children that is in an arrangement in the best interest of the children.

At Maude Family Lawyers we aim to provide you with advice as to how best separate your assets and care for your children in a manner that will lead to a quick and amicable result.

Divorce Proceedings

What are the Requirements for filing for a Divorce Order?

In order for a divorce to be successful, the following requirements must be met:

  1. Your marriage has broken down irretrievably;
  2. You have been separated from your ex-partner for a minimum of 12 months;
  3. Be an Australian citizen or live in Australia and regard Australia as your permanent home and ordinarily live in Australia and have done so for at least 12 months before the divorce application; and
  4. If you have children who are under 18 years old, you will need to satisfy the court that you have made arrangements for their day-to-day care, maintenance, and other aspects of their welfare, or, that there is a good reason why no arrangements have been made. Note that the granting of a Divorce does not make these arrangements into a Court Order or determine the parenting arrangements.

What does it mean to be separated for a Divorce Application?

  1. Physical separation:

    This kind of separation usually and one of the parties moving out, and otherwise living separate lives from that point onwards.

  2. Separation under the same roof:

    This type of separation is a little bit harder to deal with. If you have split up with your ex-partner but have continued to live in the same house, you must prove that your partnership has broken down. 

    These consists of various things that typically make up a relationship – such as marital intercourse, socialising and spending time together, sharing household chores and eating meals together.

I’ve been married for less than two years – is it the same requirements for me?

If you have been married for less than 2 years, the court has an additional requirement for getting divorced.

You must obtain a certificate that states that you and your ex-partner have considered a reconciliation with the assistance of an appropriate counsellor or organisation.

There are some circumstances where you can file an affidavit instead of the counseling certificate such as if there was family violence or you don’t know where your ex-partner is.

Does it Matter whose fault it was that the marriage broke down?

Not anymore. Since 1976 the changes to the legislation made it so Australia has a ‘no fault’ divorce system, meaning that as long as the period of separation is met and your marriage has irretrievably broken down, it doesn’t matter whose fault it was.

My partner and I own a house and other assets together – does getting a divorce affect what I’m entitled to?

No, your property split is completely separate to your divorce, and you still have a year from your date of divorce to lodge an application to the court for your property matter.

Joint or Sole Divorce Applications

A divorce Application can be either a sole or joint application.

In the event of a sole application, the Court requires certain assurances that the other party has been correctly served with the documents.

For legal advice as to filing a divorce application, call our lawyers at Maude Family Lawyers who can ensure that any application is legally compliant.