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中文     19th April 2024

9AM – 5:30PM

Monday to Friday

L7, 10-14 Smith St

Parramatta NSW 2150

(02) 9635 7966

Call Us

Divorce: Plain English Guide


You can apply for a divorce if your marriage has broken down beyond repair. Generally, you must have been separated for at least 12 months. You do not have to be living in different houses to be considered separated. If you have children under the age of 18 years, you will need to have proper arrangements in place for the children.


  1. Your Marriage Certificate (with translation by a NAATI Certified translator if the marriage certificate is not in English);
  2. If neither party is born in Australia, proof of citizenship, residency or visa with passport proof evidencing you have been in Australia for the last 12 months;
  3. Details of, or copies of any other Orders made relating to family law matters;
  4. If you are applicable for a reduction in the filing fee, a copy of the relevant evidence to demonstrate your eligibility. Further details can be found at www.fcfcoa.gov.au/fl/pubs/guidelines-reduced-fee-divorce-nullity;
  5. You may also require affidavit’s in the event you have lived in the same house as your ex-spouse in the last 12 months. For further information refer to the court’s brochure “Separated but living under one roof”, https://www.fcfcoa.gov.au/fl/pubs/separated-under-one-roof.


Your divorce takes effect one month and one day after the divorce Order is made. After that, you will generally have 12 months to bring an application to Court to divide your property.


Your application for divorce can be made on your own (sole application) or together with your ex-partner if you both agree (joint application). If you are making a sole application and you have children under the age of 18, you or your lawyer will need to attend Court either in person, by electronic videoconference or by telephone.

Sole Applications

Step 1: Complete and file an Application for Divorce. This can be done via the Comcourts Online Portal.

Step 2: Serve your divorce Application on your ex-partner no less than 28 days before the hearing date. You can engage a process server to assist with serving the divorce application. You are not able to serve the documents on your spouse yourself. For further information on the service requirements refer to the courts “Divorce Service Kit”. https://www.fcfcoa.gov.au/fl/forms/divorce-service-kit.

Step 3: Have your ex-partner complete the form titled “Acknowledgment of Service (Divorce)”.

Step 4: Divorce Hearing (Attendance if required if you have a child or children under 18 years of age).

Joint Applications

Step 1: Complete and file a Joint Application for Divorce, noting both yourself and your ex-spouse must sign the application. This can be done via the Comcourts Online Portal.

Step 2: Divorce Hearing

The current divorce filing fee can be found at: https://www.fcfcoa.gov.au/fl/fees/fl-fees.

Divorce Hearing

Attendance at a divorce hearing may be required depending on your circumstances. Currently most divorce hearings are conducted via electronic video conferencing. The Judicial Registrar at this event will assess any issues in relation to the divorce application and seek any further information that may be required.

If your divorce is accepted by the Court, your divorce Order will be available and effective one month and one day after it was made.

Note: The steps involved may vary slightly depending on individual circumstances.

The information contained in your Application for Divorce may be used as evidence in other proceedings. Therefore, it is important all of the information contained in the application is true and correct.

For advice about child support contact us on 1800 300 170 or email us at famlaw@matthewsfolbigg.com.au

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