Divorce FAQs

Below you’ll find answers to our most common enquiries.

If your divorce was AFTER February 2010 you can print your divorce order from the Commonwealth Courts Portal, once your divorce is finalised (usually one month and one day after your divorce hearing).

There is no fee to print a divorce order from the Portal. Divorce orders after this date are digital orders with an electronic seal and signature and are the only form of proof of divorce provided by the Court.

See How do I prove I am divorced for more information.

If your divorce was finalised BEFORE February 2010 you can complete the online form and pay the $30 fee.

In Australia the only grounds for divorce are the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage, proved by a separation period of 12 months.

Before you start an application see How do I apply for a divorce? for a step-by-step guide including important information about eligibility.

Applications for divorce should be eFiled using the Commonwealth Courts Portal.

If you have made a joint application, you do not need to serve your spouse with any documents.

If you filed a sole application you are required to serve the application. You will need to arrange for the documents to be served on your spouse either by post or by hand.

Once the documents have been served on your spouse you will need to eFile the evidence of service documents with the Court.

See How do I serve a divorce? for a step-by-step guide.

You can file further documents to support your application for divorce using the Commonwealth Courts Portal.

See How do I eFile further documents to support my application for divorce? for a step-by-step guide

If you have received a copy of an Application for divorce, this means your spouse has applied for a divorce and you have been served. In a sole application, your spouse (who filed the application) is known as the applicant and you (as the other party) are known as the respondent.

You should read the application as soon as possible and acknowledge you have been served. If you do not agree with the facts in the application for divorce, or you oppose the application and do not want the divorce granted you may file (and serve) a Response to divorce.

See Divorce: I have been served for more information.

Generally, attendance at the divorce hearing is only required if:

  • you have filed a sole application and there is a child of the marriage aged under 18 years
  • you have indicated that you wish to attend in the application
  • either party has objected to the divorce being heard in the absence of the parties
  • the respondent files a Response to divorce opposing the application
  • you are applying for an order for substituted service or a dispensation of service.

Divorce hearings are conducted electronically. You only need access to a telephone to attend the divorce hearing and do not need to go to the Court in-person. The details for electronic attendance will be available on the Commonwealth Courts Portal and on the daily court list from 4pm (AEST) the day before the hearing.

For more information see, Divorce hearing.

If after making all reasonable attempts you are having trouble serving your divorce application on your spouse, you may apply to the Court for substituted service or dispensation of service.

For information see the fact sheet Are you having trouble serving your divorce application?

To apply for an order to serve the document in a way other than personal service or dispensation of service, see Cannot serve the divorce documents in the step-by-step guide, How do I serve a divorce?.

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If your matter is urgent or requires time critical intervention, please call us on 1300 352 000.