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Divorce and Separation


Divorce and separation can be hard and many people experience difficulty adjusting to life after separating from their partner. It may take some time to completely understand these difficulties. Counselling can help you explore the possibilities of a reconciliation, or to work through the process of separating. Counselling can also assist you to resolve matters affecting the welfare of children.

The Court counselling services provide counselling. If an application has been made in the Family Court in relation to children, counselling may be directed by the Court. If a direction is made, you will be contacted by the Court counselling section for an appointment

There are also numerous counselling services within the community. If you would like any help in organising an appointment for counselling, we are happy to assist you.

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Primary dispute resolution mechanisms such as counselling, negotiation and mediation may help you resolve property or parenting matters without the need to become involved in Court proceedings.
Negotiations can be a formal or informal process where parties seek to resolve disputes directly with each other with (or without) the assistance of legal representatives. Negotiations frequently take place through written proposals made by each party and can also involve formal meetings.

Mediation is where a trained mediator, acting as a neutral third party, works with you and your former partner to help you resolve matters on an amicable basis. This can be an informal or formal process. Any settlement reached at mediation can be formalised as Court orders, a binding financial agreement and in the case of parenting matters, Court orders or a parenting plan.

Divorce Procedures

Either party to a marriage can apply for a divorce after they have been separated for 12 months. The parties must have lived separately and apart during that time although they can have lived in the same house.

A divorce application is separate from property settlement applications and parenting proceedings.

Applications for divorce are filed in the Federal Magistrates Court. The Family Court no longer accepts divorce applications. There are facilities for application for Divorce to be filed online.

Arbitration is where a trained arbitrator is appointed to determine a dispute between you and your former partner.

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