At HHG Legal Group, we have been assisting individuals and families for over 100 years, with offices in Perth, Joondalup, Mandurah, Bunbury and Albany. When dealing with a relationship or marriage breakdown, you need legal advice that you can trust. Our Divorce Lawyers in Perth & across WA will work alongside you during the divorce process. This includes the preparation of your application for divorce and any supporting documents required.
Our Divorce Lawyers can help you with:
- Alternative dispute resolution
- Asset Protection
- Consent agreements
- Child abduction
- Child custody
- Child relocation
- Child support
- Family law matters
- Financial settlements
- Property Settlements
- Restraining orders and injunctions
- Setting aside orders or agreements
- Spousal Maintenance Applications
- Spousal Maintenance Orders
- Superannuation Splitting
The divorce process in Western Australia is fairly straightforward, however, there are still certain requirements and steps you must take to ensure the court will grant a divorce.
Step 1: Meet the requirements
To apply for divorce in Australia, you and your spouse must have separated at least 12 months ago. In addition, one of you must be an Australian citizen, or be living in Australia and regard Australia as your home.
If you have been married less than two years, from the date of filing your divorce application, the Court may require you to participate in counselling to discuss the possibility of reconciliation, prior to making the divorce application.
If you have children, you will need to tell the court that arrangements have been made for their care.
Step 2: File the divorce application
- When filing, you will need to provide your Marriage Certificate. If it is not in English, you will need a translation. In this circumstance, a qualified person will need to translate your marriage certificate and provide an affidavit swearing the translation is accurate.
- You must file your divorce application using the E-Court’s Portal. You and your former spouse can do this jointly, or you can do this by yourself. A fee is payable to the Court upon filing the application.
Step 3: Serve the divorce application – sole applicants only
- If you file an Application for Divorce in your sole name you will likely be required to attend a brief court hearing. You also must serve your spouse the divorce application at least 28 days prior to the date of the Divorce Hearing. You must serve the application in accordance with the Family Court Rules 2021.
The idea of obtaining a divorce from an uncooperative spouse may feel like an uphill battle. However, you do not need your spouse’s consent to obtain a divorce.
Every state in Australia now has an option for a no-fault divorce. The no-fault principle, established by the Family Law Act 1975, means that the court does not need to know the reason for the divorce, just that the marriage has broken down irretrievably and there is no hope of reconciliation.
If a divorce application is made by you solely, you will be required to serve a copy of the application on your former spouse and provide evidence to the court that the application has been served. If you do not know the location of your former spouse, you may have to apply to the court for substituted service or dispensation of service. Our family law team can assist you in this regard.
The other party may then file a Response to Divorce if they disagree with any of the information provided on the application or if they oppose the divorce. If you are concerned that your former spouse may have grounds to oppose, do not hesitate to contact our team of experienced family lawyers.
If your former spouse does not object to the divorce application, there are no dependent children of the marriage and you have complied with service requirements, you will not be required to attend the hearing.
If you got married overseas, there are often legal variables to consider. You can get a divorce in Australia if married overseas if:
- You or your spouse is an Australian citizen (by birth, descent, or grant of Australian citizenship);
- You or your spouse live in Australia or have lived in Australia for the past immediate 12 months before applying for your divorce; or
- You regard Australia as your home and intend to live here indefinitely.
If you meet one of the above criteria, then you can apply for divorce through the Family Court. However, it is important to note that you will need to be able to provide proof of your circumstances.
During your application for divorce on the e-Courts portal, a court date can be chosen which will be subsequently scheduled after filing. A Registrar of the Family Court will review the Application once filed in preparation for the hearing.
Your divorce hearing is usually six to eight weeks after filing but can vary significantly depending on the Court’s availability.
At you divorce hearing, the Registrar may grant the divorce. However, the divorce will not come into effect on this day. One month and one day after your hearing, your divorce will be finalised.
It is difficult however to advise the length of a divorce application from start to finish. This is mainly the case for sole applications where the divorce application must be served on the other party. For a sole application, there can be many issues.
It is important to understand that a divorce is separate from a property settlement.
A Divorce legally ends your marriage but they do not deal with arrangements for children or how you and your former spouse should divide your property.
You can finalise a property settlement as soon as you separate. However, you must do so 12 months after your divorce or you will need to file a court application. Our family and de facto lawyers have extensive experience in these matters and can assist you if you find yourself in this situation. If you require further information in relation to property settlement or children’s care arrangements, please see our Family and De Facto page here.
A divorce application itself costs $940 to file with the Family Court. However, your filing fee may be reduced to $310 if you qualify for a reduction. You may qualify for a reduction if you possess a valid healthcare card or other valid concession card.
The costs involved in a divorce application depend upon the individual circumstances of the case, including the level of complexity. It also depends on nature of the application, being sole or joint, if personal service is required, and whether you require a lawyer’s attendance at a hearing, along with a number of other important factors.
We believe in full transparency with our clients. All of our clients are fully aware of what their costs are and likely to be. We provide our clients with up-to-date information on their costs at all stages of the process.
At HHG, we are often able to offer our client’s a fixed fee for a divorce.
If you wish to be provided with an estimate of fees, contact one of our offices in Western Australia and book an initial fixed fee consultation with one of our experienced divorce lawyers.
Usually, in Western Australia, a divorce order will revoke a Will. However, there are exceptions to this.
Please contact us for legal advice regarding your Will if you are going through a separation.
The Family Court holds all divorce records. The public can access other people’s records in rare circumstances. To do so, a person must write to the Family Court to request a copy of the relevant record and explain why they require it. The court will then consider the application. This is not easy. If you seek somebody else’s divorce record we urge you to obtain legal advice.
Divorce is a very difficult process, especially after a long marriage and when there are children of the relationship.
It is important to engage a divorce lawyer to provide you with advice tailored to your individual circumstances and needs. It is also desirable to engage a lawyer with a wealth of knowledge and experience, who is an expert in the specific area of family and de facto law. Often people become tripped up with the procedural and service requirements of a divorce application.
Our team of divorce lawyers have a wealth of experience about the necessary requirements and details of the divorce application. Our divorce lawyers are also experts in this area should your former partner oppose the application.
Our divorce lawyers can help you obtain important documents such as your marriage certificate
If you are missing something such as your marriage certificate, our family divorce lawyers can provide assistance. With our help, you can write an affidavit that explains why the documents are unobtainable and still get divorced. Without this affidavit, your divorce application will not be granted.
The divorce process has become much more manageable. In most cases, parties are able to resolve things themselves. Where this is not possible or if your case is more complex, our divorce lawyers can use their experience and expertise to help ensure a smooth resolution with your best interests in mind.
Our Divorce Lawyers are here to support you
We understand that going through a relationship breakdown can be a very difficult time. For more information about how our family lawyers can assist you with the legal process, or arrange a confidential discussion, please visit our contact page to submit an enquiry or reach out to your preferred office directly.
No matter where you are in Western Australia, HHG Legal Group can assist you with your family law matter. We have offices in Perth, Joondalup, Mandurah, Bunbury and Albany. We have experience representing and advising clients throughout all of Western Australia.