1. You, your spouse, or both, file an Application for Divorce in the Federal Circuit Court of Australia.
2. Pay the relevant filing fee with your Application. The current filing fee for a Divorce Application is $845.00. If you are a sole Applicant for the Divorce and you receive a pension, this fee may be reduced to $280.00 by completing an Application form for a reduction of the filing fee and lodging this with your Application.
3. You must be able to demonstrate that your marriage has irretrievably broken down. This is evidenced by the fact that, as a couple, you have separated and been living apart for at least twelve (12) months.
4. Where the marriage was for less than two (2) years before filing for Divorce, the Court will require evidence of counselling. A certificate must be signed by an approved Counsellor and lodged with your Divorce Application.
5. If the parties live together under the same roof during separation, evidence from a witness must be provided to the Court verifying that the parties were separated.
6. If the Application is made jointly, both parties would sign the Application and file it with the Court. Neither of you will be required to attend the hearing, even if you have children under the age of eighteen (18) years. There is also no need to prove that you have served your spouse with a copy of the Application in this instance.
7. After the Application for Divorce is filed with a copy of your Marriage Certificate, a hearing date will be allocated. If you are the sole Applicant, your spouse must be served with a copy of the Divorce Application at least twenty-eight (28) days before the hearing and you will be required to file proof of service. If the Court is satisfied at the hearing that the grounds for Divorce have been established, a Divorce Order will be granted. A Divorce Order becomes absolute after one month, at which time the Divorce is final.
8. If there are children under the age of eighteen (18) years, the Court will not grant the Divorce unless it is satisfied that there are proper arrangements in place for their care. A ‘child of the marriage’ will include a child born before the parties were married and any adopted children of either spouse. Parents will need to include details in the Divorce Application regarding housing, supervision, education, child support and maintenance, the time each party will spend with the child and health management. The Court may also require oral evidence at the Divorce hearing if it has further questions regarding the care of the children.