Brisbane Divorce Lawyers
Experienced family lawyers ready to help guide you through the divorce process and other family law matters.
Our Brisbane family lawyers are dedicated to helping you navigate one of life’s most stressful events; separation and divorce. We can help you finalise your divorce by preparing and lodging an Application for Divorce, or responding to one. It is our aim to help you achieve the most positive outcome with as little conflict as possible.
We understand that everyone’s family circumstances are different, and everyone will approach the situation in their own way. Your unique circumstances may play a role in how smoothly an application may proceed.
At Attwood Marshall Lawyers, we offer fixed fees for divorce applications.
It is important to understand that if you and your former partner are still living under the same roof even though you have separated, or if you are unable to locate your spouse to serve them with an application for divorce, that you may need to take some additional steps for your divorce to proceed.
When separating from your former spouse, there are also a number of other legal issues that you will need to finalise in addition to filing your divorce application.
Our expert family lawyers can help you understand the legal process to follow to ensure your interests are protected and you can move on with your life.
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FAQs – Family Law & Divorce
In Australia, you must satisfy at least one of the below criteria to be eligible to apply for divorce:
- You normally reside in Australia;
- You are an Australian citizen;
- You consider Australia to be your home and you intend to live in Australia indefinitely;
- You have lived in Australia for 12 months immediately preceding filing the Application for Divorce.
An Application for Divorce must be filed in the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia. Australia’s divorce process is a “no-fault” system, which means the court does not consider which partner was at fault in the marriage breakdown. Therefore, the only requirement before filing the application is that you and your former spouse must have been separated for 12 months or more prior to filing the application.
You can only apply for a divorce after you have been separated for a period of at least twelve months. If you have been separated, but reconciled for a period of time, then the 12-month period starts after the reconciliation came to an end.
If you have concerns about whether you are eligible to apply for divorce in Australia, contact our friendly divorce lawyers in Brisbane to discuss your specific circumstances. Call 1800 621 071.
Applications for divorce can be filed using an online form that is submitted through the Commonwealth Courts online portal. Some people choose to complete a divorce application on their own, however it can be advantageous to have a lawyer assist you with your application.
A divorce application can be made solely or as a joint application. Depending whether you file your application solely or jointly will determine what information you may need to provide as part of the application process.
In Australia, a court does not consider who was at fault in the breakdown of a marriage.
To apply for a divorce, you must:
- Prove that the marriage has irretrievably broken and that you have been separated for at least 12 months;
- Have been married for at least two years or more or have attended the required counselling with the Family Court.
If you would like more advice about your specific circumstances or to check your eligibility to apply for divorce, contact our Brisbane divorce lawyers at any time on 1800 621 071.
If you have been married for less than two years and want to make an Application for Divorce, there are some additional steps you will need to take, including:
- Attending a mediation with your former spouse with a court approved family and child mediator where you will need to discuss the possibility of reconciliation. Once you have attended mediation, you must file a certificate completed by the counsellor with your Application for Divorce. If for any reason you cannot attend the mediation, you must file an affidavit outlining the reasons why counselling is not an option.
- You may file an application seeking the court’s permission to proceed within 2 years of the marriage under special circumstances.
In most cases, no, your former spouse cannot refuse the divorce. If the court is satisfied that the marriage has broken down irretrievably and that you and your former spouse have been separated for at least 12 months, there are very limited reasons why the divorce should not be granted. It is your responsibility to prove that your spouse was served the divorce documents according to the rules.
“Service” is the delivery of the court documents to your spouse after they have been filed. By servicing the documents, this ensures all parties have received the documents filed with the court and that everyone is aware of the pending Application for Divorce.
When it comes to establishing child custody arrangements following separation, the primary focus is to ascertain the best interests of the child or children involved. Under the Family Law Act, several crucial factors are taken into account, including:
Promoting a meaningful relationship with both parents: one key consideration is the advantage to the child or children in maintaining a substantial and meaningful relationship with both of their parents.
Protecting children from harm: Equally important is safeguarding the child, or children, from potential physical harm, psychological harm, abuse, neglect, or domestic violence and family violence. This protection is paramount in ensuring the child’s welfare.
In situations where reaching an agreement with your former spouse regarding child custody arrangements is a source of concern or contention, our Brisbane family lawyers can help provide you with the steps to take to formalise parenting arrangements and ensure your children’s best interests are met. Call our family lawyers on 1800 621 071 any time to discuss your unique situation.
If you still live under the same roof as your former spouse, you will need to provide evidence of the separation to the court. The action of separating must involve a complete and open break from the marital relationship, including:
- Not sharing meals or mutual entertainment at home or outside of the home with your former spouse
- Living in separate rooms
- Stopping all sexual activity
- Operating separate bank accounts
- Not providing household services
- Not representing to family members, friends, or colleagues that the marriage is persisting.
Your unique situation will determine whether you may need to appear in court. An appearance by you or your lawyer will be required if you have children under the age of 18 and the application is not made jointly by you and your former spouse.
If you are living under the same room as your former spouse, it is likely that the court will expect an appearance by you, or your lawyer, to answer any questions regarding the separation.
All divorce hearings are held electronically. You will receive dial in details ahead of your hearing.
Attwood Marshall Lawyers offer a set fee structure for divorce applications. Contact our Brisbane divorce lawyers any time on 1800 621 071 to ask about our fees.
In addition to our set fee, the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia will charge a filing fee for lodging an Application for Divorce. This fee can be reduced if you have a concession card or receive Centrelink benefits.
Yes! A property settlement and a divorce are two separate legal matters. It is important to note that divorce affects property settlements by triggering a time limitation period, which if lapsed, can cause you difficulty in making a court application for property settlement or spousal maintenance. The time limitation period will commence once your Divorce Order is final (one day and one month after the divorce application hearing date).
If 12 months has passed after your divorce has been finalised, and you have not yet finalised your property settlement, you must obtain the family court’s permission before filing any court application.
Our family law solicitors can help you negotiate a property settlement. Call us today to discuss your situation on 1800 621 071.
Once a divorce is granted, it will be finalised one month and one day later, unless a special order is made by the court. You can download your divorce order from the Commonwealth Courts portal the following working day after the order has become final.
Yes! It is very important to review your estate plan and update your Will as soon as possible after separating from your spouse. Any gift you have in your Will that you previously had intended to leave to your spouse will become invalid on divorce.
It is also imperative to update your Enduring Power of Attorney or Appointment of Enduring Guardian documents, as you may have previously appointed your spouse to be your attorney or guardian, and your change of circumstances may mean you need to revoke and cancel the existing documents in order to appoint a new attorney or guardian.
You may also need to revise any superannuation and life insurance nominations you have previously put in place.
Our family law lawyers can discuss your estate planning needs and help you understand what you need to consider alongside your divorce.
Key considerations after separation
Following separation, there are important issues you need to address as you work towards finalising your divorce. Here are some key family law matters to keep in mind:
Review your estate planning:
- Update your Will immediately. Failing to do so might mean that your ex-spouse could inherit everything if you were to pass away unexpectedly;
- Enduring Power of Attorney Documents. Revoke an existing Enduring Power of Attorney granted to your spouse and replace it with a new one;
- Bank accounts and property. Review any jointly-owned bank accounts or property and consider severing the joint tenancy for property. Bank accounts should be split into individual accounts;
- Superannuation and life insurance policies. Review your superannuation and life insurance (death cover) policies, and make necessary changes to binding nominations, including self-managed superannuation funds;
- Business entities. Audit business entities like companies and trusts to see if any assets need protecting from being transferred or sold.
Negotiating a property settlement:
- Property settlements can often be resolved prior to your divorce being finalised. Consider entering into a Binding Financial Agreement. If both parties are unable to reach an agreement over their property division amicably, court intervention may be necessary. Trying to negotiate effectively with your former spouse early is the best approach to avoid costly court disputes.
- Spousal support and financial agreements can be dealt with as part of the negotiations when entering into a Binding Financial Agreement. However, if both parties choose not to enter into a financial agreement, there are other avenues that can be explored to determine spousal maintenance arrangements, including through informal agreements, mediation, arbitration, or family court proceedings.
Child support and parenting arrangements:
Parents of dependent children must continue to financially support their children and meet their obligations following separation. There are several ways child support can be determined, including through a private agreement or by following the standard child support formula set out and delivered by Services Australia. Parents can also enter into a Parenting Consent Order or Parenting Plan to formalise their parenting arrangements.
Navigating family law issues after separation can be challenging and emotionally sensitive. This is why obtaining independent tailored advice from an experienced family lawyer can make all the difference and help you facilitate productive negotiations and formalise agreements early, allowing everyone to move forward peacefully.
Family Law Solicitors Brisbane – expert legal advice you can trust
Our experienced Brisbane divorce lawyers understand the complexity and emotional challenges that come with divorce, separation and family law proceedings. We will be by your side throughout your entire matter and can assist with all family law services including divorce applications, complex property matters, financial settlements and binding financial agreements, parenting matters, child custody and child support, and sensitive family law matters involving domestic violence and family violence.
Contact our family law specialists in Brisbane today to ensure your rights and interests are protected during this transition in your family circumstances.