Finalising your divorce

If you want to ensure your marriage is legally and officially over or if you want to get re-married, then you need to commence formal divorce proceedings. That's where we can help.

Divorce is the legal ending of a marriage.  

The only ground for divorce in Australia is the irreconcilable breakdown of the marriage, which is proved by 12 months separation. The separation can be an actual physical separation where one person leaves the home and lives elsewhere, or where you both continue to live under the same roof but lead separate lives.  Either way if there is no likelihood of you getting back together you are entitled to apply for divorce.

Many people separate from their partner and choose not to finalise their divorce - mainly because of the costs involved.  Aside from the cost of your lawyer, you need to pay court fees.

However, if you want to ensure your marriage is legally and officially over or if you want to get married again, then you need to commence formal divorce proceedings.


How we help

Finalising your divorce is relatively straight forward process:

  1. An application is made to the Federal Circuit Court in Melbourne or Dandenong. The Court will list the case
    for hearing several weeks later. This Application can be made by you, by your partner or jointly.
  2. If the application is only being made by one party, it is necessary to “serve” the divorce application on the
    other party.
  3. The Court then conducts the divorce hearing on the listed date.
  4. If there are children under 18, the applicant or their solicitor has to attend the divorce hearing to satisfy the Court that proper arrangements have been made for the care, welfare and development of any children under 18.
  5. A month and a day after the divorce is pronounced, the Court issues a “Divorce Order” which finalises the
    procedure. You cannot remarry before the issuing of the Divorce Order.

You can learn more about this process in our Helpful Guide to Successfully Navigating Separation and Divorce.

At Tonkin Legal, our Family Law team can take care of the whole process of finalising your divorce for you. You don't need to worry about completing the paperwork, going to court or dealing with your ex-partner or their lawyer. 

1. Meeting

The first step is to meet with one of our experienced Family Law team.  At this meeting, we will obtain details about:

  • How long you have been separated from your partner and if we need evidence to support this (for example if you separated from your partner but remained living under the same roof)
  • That suitable arrangements have been made for any children under 18
  • Whether you expect your ex-partner will object to the divorce (for example, by claiming that the separation
    period was for less than 12 months).

We will also discuss where you are at in terms of negotiating property settlement and spousal maintenance as your right to apply for those expires 12 months after the divorce order is issued.

2. Cost estimate

Once we understand your situation, we will then provide you with a cost estimate to finalise your divorce.  This will include completing the steps above on your behalf as well as other costs you will incur (for example, the cost of filing a divorce application, charged by the Court).  

This cost-estimate is based on many years of experience undertaking this type of work. We pride ourselves on working as quickly and as efficiently as possible to keep your costs down. But we don't cut corners. There are fixed fees available in relation to the divorce process, which can be discussed at our first meeting.

3. Finalise your divorce

If you are happy with our estimate, we then proceed with the divorce application on your behalf.  

A Helpful Guide to Successfully Navigating Separation and Divorce

Are you in the process of separating or divorcing? Our guide to successfully navigating separation and divorce is a free resource, available on our website.

Download Now
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