A Guide to the Divorce Process

Divorce is a daunting process for a married couple since it involves a lot of emotions. If you are contemplating divorce, the extract below provides a few tips on the divorce process. 

Petitioners Application

Divorce is initiated when one of the partners files a divorce application. Once you file an application, you will be known as the petitioner. You should note that divorce proceedings do not include child custody rights and property settlement. They require a different application altogether. The only divorce grounds acceptable by the court is irreparable differences when all avenues to facilitate reconciliation have not been fruitful.

Minimum Requirements

For the application to be successful, either you or your partner should be an Australian citizen by birth, have lived in Australia at least twelve months before filing the divorce and intend to continue living there. Couples married for less than two years need to show evidence that they have attended couple's therapy. Your family lawyer will guide you through the process.

What About the Respondent?

You serve the other party with a copy of the divorce petition application or have your lawyer do it. Additionally, you can also request the courthouse the divorce will be considered at, upon paying a small fee. 

What if the Respondent Is in Disagreement?

This is bound to happen sometimes, and they are required to give feedback on the same through a response to divorce. The application can be opposed if the period of separation has been less than twelve months. If the form had errors, it could still be opposed.

The Hearings

The other party does not have to participate in the trial if they didn't oppose the divorce application through the response to divorce. Additionally, it is not compulsory to attend the hearing if you do not have children under eighteen years. The law, however, makes it a mandatory requirement to participate in the divorce hearing if you made a request for sole custodianship.


With all the necessary factors put into consideration, the court can finally order the dissolution of the marriage. The divorce will only be accepted if you prove to the court that minors under the legal age have their needs taken care of.

You can opt for an out-of-court process to settle matters regarding child custody and property division. Ask your lawyer to organise the proceedings.  

The children's needs and safety have to be carefully weighed before, during and after the finalisation of the divorce. Have a seat down with them and always let them know that they are valued, loved and will ever be taken care of, whether both parents are present or not.