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Organization : Federal Circuit Court of Australia
Facility : How Do I Apply for a Divorce
Country : Australia
Website :

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Federal Circuit Court Apply for a Divorce

The Federal Circuit Court of Australia has the jurisdiction or power to deal with dissolution of marriage (i.e. divorce) under Part VI of the Family Law Act 1975.

Related : Victoria Registry of Births & Marriages Correct a Death Certificate :

You need to satisfy the Court that you and your spouse have lived separately and apart for at least 12 months, and there is no reasonable likelihood of resuming married life. It is possible to live together in the same residence and still be separated.

If you apply for a divorce together with your spouse, it is a joint application and you and your spouse are joint applicants. If you apply for a divorce by yourself, you are a sole applicant and your spouse is the respondent. You may prepare your own divorce application or ask a lawyer to do it for you.

Before You Apply

To be eligible to apply for a divorce in Australia, you or your spouse must answer yes to at least one of the following :
** Regard Australia as your home and intend to live indefinitely in Australia – lawfully present in Australia and intend to continue living in Australia.
** Are an Australian citizen by birth or descent – born in Australia or outside Australia and at least one parent was an Australian citizen, your birth was registered in Australia.

** Are an Australian citizen by grant of an Australian Citizenship.
** Live in Australia and have done so for 12 months immediately before filing for divorce – have lived continually in Australia for a period of 12 months immediately prior to filing for divorce, not including overseas holidays or business trips.


If you have met the criteria above read the following information which is relevant to you before you apply.

Legal Advice

If you need help to complete the application or are unsure about whether you are eligible to file for divorce, you should obtain legal advice.

It is important to obtain some independent legal advice in relation to your situation. A lawyer can help you understand your legal rights and responsibilities. They can also explain how the law applies to your case.

A lawyer may also be able to help you reach an agreement without going to court. The court is unable to provide legal advice because to do so could seriously compromise the court’s ability to impartially determine a case if a person then applies to the court seeking orders.

Marriages Under 2 Years

If you have been married less than two years you will need to file a counselling certificate. For more information see the fact sheet Have you been married for less than two years?

To obtain a certificate you will need to attend counselling. To arrange counselling contact the Family Relationship Advice Line (FRAL) on 1800 050 321. If you are unable to attend counselling with your spouse you will need to file an affidavit as per the fact sheet.


If there are children of the marriage it is important to provide particulars of the arrangements in Part F of the application including housing, if not at school – care arrangements, schooling – grade and progress – care before and after school, health of the child/ren, contact with father/mother and if no contact, why?, financial support provided by the father/mother if not, why not?

A child of the marriage includes :
** any child of you and your spouse, including children born before the marriage or after separation
** any child adopted by you and your spouse, or
** any child who was treated as a member of your family prior to your final separation; for example, a step-child or foster child.


$865 (or $290 if you are eligible for a reduced fee. To see if you are eligible go to Guidelines for fee reduction). If you are eligible for a reduction of payment of divorce fee — general, you will need to attach a copy of documentary evidence (both sides).

If you are not eligible for a reduction of payment of divorce fee — general, but payment of the fee will cause you financial hardship you can complete the Application for reduction of payment of divorce or decree of nullity – financial hardship.

Your application will then be considered by the court. For further information, see the publication Guidelines for reduced fee – divorce and decree of nullity application.

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