Frequently Asked Questions About Divorce

Whether you’ve only just started thinking about the divorce process or have already separated from your partner, you might have a few questions that only a lawyer can answer. If you’re looking for a divorce lawyer in Sydney to answer your questions and guide you through your separation and divorce, you can rely on the team at Gentles Family Lawyers. We understand that the divorce process can be confusing, so we’ve answered a few of the most commonly asked questions right here. If you have a question we haven’t answered, don’t hesitate to get in touch with one of our team today.

What Do I Need To File For Divorce?

You need to meet a specific set of requirements in order to qualify and apply for divorce in Australia.

  • Your marriage must be over. Before lodging a divorce application, you need to prove that your marriage has broken down beyond repair and that there is no reasonable likelihood that you will get back together. In addition, you must have been separated from your partner for at least 12 months and one day. If you live in the same house, you need to provide evidence that you’ve both been living independently for 12 months and one day. For example, you might sleep in separate bedrooms, have separate finances, and independently contribute to bills and chores.
  • A marriage certificate. You need to attach a copy of your marriage certificate to the divorce application. If your marriage certificate is in another language, you’ll need to provide a written translation from a qualified translator and an affidavit from the translator about the certificate’s contents.
  • Three copies of your application. If you’re filing your application in person, you’ll need to provide the original application and two copies to the court registry. The court will keep the original, and the two copies will be given to each party involved in the divorce.

How Do I File For Divorce?

If you’re confused by the divorce process, you wouldn’t be alone. When you work with Gentles Family Lawyers, your divorce lawyer in Manly will guide you through the application process and help you lodge everything required.

  • You can apply individually or with your spouse. Some relationships end amicably, and both parties opt to lodge a joint divorce application. However, if one party chooses to apply alone, they can do so and serve the other party with the application. You need to prove that the other party was served with their documents, and your Sydney divorce lawyer can make sure this happens smoothly and correctly.
  • You need to apply online. The Commonwealth Family Court takes online divorce applications, but you can receive the appropriate forms if you’re unable to submit them online. Lodgement for a divorce application will cost $930, but you may be eligible for a reduced fee of $310. Speak with your separation lawyer on the northern beaches about whether or not you’re eligible for the reduced fee.
  • Attend a divorce hearing. Once you’ve satisfied the requirements for your divorce application and everything has been processed, you’ll need to attend a hearing that formalises the end of your marriage. Your divorce order will be final one month and one day after the hearing unless otherwise ordered by the court. You don’t need to attend the hearing if both parties filed a joint application and there are no children of the marriage under 18.

A Few General Questions About Divorce

As specialist lawyers for divorce, the team at Gentles Family Lawyers hear a lot of questions about the process and terminology. To save you a trip to your separation lawyer in Manly, we’ve answered a few of the most commonly asked questions. If you have a question we haven’t addressed or you’d like more information on one of these topics, don’t hesitate to reach out and give us a call.

  • What does ‘no-fault divorce’ mean?
    In Australia, the court finds it irrelevant to note who instigated the divorce proceedings or who is at fault for the marriage breakdown. As long as the marriage is irreconcilable and you have been separated for more than 12 months, the court will treat both parties equitably.
  • How long does the divorce process take?
    You need to be separated for 12 months and one day before you can lodge an application for divorce. Once you have lodged your application, it can take roughly 8-12 weeks for your application to be processed and a hearing date set. Then, it’s another month and one day until your divorce is legally binding.
  • How soon can I remarry after divorce?
    As soon as your divorce becomes binding, one month and one day after your hearing date, you can remarry. Any marriage you enter before your divorce is binding is an offence and will not be recognised by law.
  • Do I need a family lawyer for a divorce?
    A separation lawyer in Sydney can walk you through the entire separation and divorce process. We’ll help you present your best case for property settlement and child custody and support you every step of the way.
  • How does the settlement work? Will I lose everything?
    The Australian family court has a 4-step process to divide assets in a divorce. They consider individual circumstances in each situation and determine a just and equitable division of property.
  • If I leave the property during the separation, will I lose my share in the divorce?
    No. The house is a marital asset, and it will be considered in the division of assets, regardless of who currently resides there. If it’s in your best interests to leave your house and find alternate accommodation throughout your separation, it won’t affect your position when dividing property and organising child custody.
  • Who gets the children in a divorce?
    You and your spouse need to work out a parenting agreement that stipulates who the children will live with. The agreement also outlines allocated times for each parent to spend with the children. If you can’t come to an agreement, you can ask the court for a parenting order. This order will outline the parenting arrangements the court believes are in the childrens’ best interests. This arrangement is based on several factors affecting the child’s life.
  • Do I have to go to court for settlement and child custody disputes?
    You don’t need to resort to litigation to settle disputes. Instead, you and your spouse can seek resolution through mediation and collaboration, saving yourselves the cost and stress of taking your matter to court. If you’d like more advice on how you can resolve your divorce outside of court, contact the team at Gentles Family Lawyers to speak with a divorce lawyer on the northern beaches.

If You Need A Divorce Lawyer In Sydney, Gentles Family Lawyers Are Here To Help

At Gentles Family Lawyers, we’re passionate about delivering the very best results for our clients. Our team are experts in a wide range of family law matters, including separation, divorce, mediation, property settlement, and child custody. We endeavour to provide cost-effective legal services without compromising on our commitment to quality. As a boutique firm, we’re better able to provide a boutique service, and we’re renowned for our resolutions-focused approach to our work. Gentles Family Lawyers strives to provide our clients with compassionate, professional, and accurate legal advice tailored to their unique circumstances. If you’re looking for a divorce lawyer in Sydney or the surrounding area, contact Gentles Family Lawyers today.

Phone us

Manly office: (02) 8319 7498
Ioanita Gentles: 0412 341 635
Conveyancing: (02) 8319 7498


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Manly: Unit 9,
14 Eustace Street, Manly 2095 NSW

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Lunch hour: 1-2pm

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