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Settlement Guide: How to get a divorce in Australia?

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Research by the Australian Institute of Family Studies shows that people in their mid to late 20s are the most likely to divorce followed by couples in their late 40s. And those who get divorced have usually been married nine years or less.

Divorce is a straight-forward process, taking as little as three months provided that all the requirements are met according to Florence Cruz Montalvo, a solicitor of the family law early intervention unit and refugee service at Legal Aid New South Wales.

The Australian law requires that married couples need to be physically separated for at least twelve months for their divorce to be processed.

In Australia, a spouse does not need the other person’s consent to file for a divorce.

However, you do need to provide a copy of the filed divorce application to the other party.


New settlers on permanent and certain temporary and refugee visas are eligible for the free translation service provided by the Department of Home Affairs.

Couples who’ve physically separated for more than twelve months can lodge their divorce application through the Federal Circuit Court.

If you were married overseas, the Family Court can still grant you a divorce in Australia.

However, the divorce may affect those on a temporary visa.

In this case, Cruz Montalvo suggests that the applicant seek legal advice from an immigration lawyer as soon as possible to map out the options.

Married couples have twelve months to reach a property settlement from the day their divorce is finalised.


The final settlement isn’t necessarily divided evenly between both parties as the court will look at the specific circumstances of each case.

Recent figures from the Australian Institute of Family Studies reveal that nearly half of all divorces in Australia involve children under 18.

Most children in Australia are covered by the Child Support Scheme, which assesses how much child support should be paid from one parent to another.

Couples unable to reach an agreement can contact the Department of Social Services for help.

Victoria Legal Aid’s Acting Associate Director of Family Law Emma Smallwood explains.

The cost to file for a divorce with the Federal Circuit Court of Australia is $910.

However, individuals under special circumstances may be eligible for a reduced fee.

Emma Smallwood recommends keeping up-to-date with household finances to negotiate an agreement in the best interest of the children.

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