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Before live chatting with us, browse through our frequently asked questions. 

For family law enquiries in Western Australia, contact the Family Court of Western Australia.

Although court staff can assist with a range of matters, they cannot give you legal advice.

FAQ: Family law and divorce

Divorced after February 2010?  Once your divorce is finalised (usually one month and one day after your divorce hearing) you can print the divorce order from the Commonwealth Courts Portal.  

There is no fee payable to print a divorce order from the portal and divorce orders after this date are digital orders with an electronic seal and signature. This is the only form of proof of divorce provided by the Court.  Go to How do I prove I am divorced for more information

Divorced prior to February 2010?  Complete the online interactive form. A $30 fee is payable on submission of the online form.   

Not sure?  Email enquiries@fcfcoa.gov.au with your full name, date of birth and the name of your former partner so we can verify your identity and provide the appropriate information.  

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

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

Before you start please check your eligibility and other important information - see How Do I apply for a divorce?

It is a good idea to read How do you start eFiling the application once you are registered for step-by-step instructions.

You can apply to the Court for orders relating to parenting arrangements for your children, property (including financial resources), maintenance and child support (in certain circumstances).

You should seek independent legal advice in relation to your circumstances in order to understand your rights, responsibilities and obligations in your case.

If all parties agree: To formalise your agreement and make it legally binding you can apply to the Federal Circuit and Family Court for consent orders. See How do I apply for consent orders? for more information.

If all parties do not agree: To ask the Court to make orders by determination, one party can start court proceedings by filing an Initiating application form. 

Further information can be found in the How do I apply for parenting orders

Orders made after 1 July 2017: Orders are available to download from the Commonwealth Courts Portal.

The court no longer posts hard copies of orders. Court orders are now issued in the form of a digital order with electronic seal and signature. The digital order is the only official and original record the Court issues and is evidence the order has been made.

Orders made before 1 July 2017:  if you require a sealed copy of orders that are not available on the Commonwealth Courts Portal you will need to apply to the Court and pay a $30 fee.

For more information see Application for sealed copy of orders.

Once a family law matter is set down for trial/defended hearing the following fees become payable and you will receive a statement via email or post:

  • Setting down fee: This fee is payable 28 days prior to the hearing.  The setting down fee remains payable even if the proceedings do not go ahead. There is no refund of the setting down fee if the hearing does not proceed. 
     
  • Daily Hearing fee: This fee is payable if your matter is set down for hearing for more than 1 day for each subsequent day after the first day of hearing. It is payable at least two working days prior to the first hearing day.  The hearing fee may be refundable if the matter does not go ahead and the Court is notified.  If the parties attend to hand up terms of settlement a refund can still be requested.

To pay your fees go to https://eservices.comcourts.gov.au/payments/new 

Fees are set by government regulations, see Family Law (Fees) Regulation 2012.

FAQ: General federal law and Migration

You are able to access details about your file (including any upcoming hearing dates) from the Commonwealth Courts Portal.

If you already have access to your file on the Portal:

  • go to your Available Files
  • click on your file number
  • click on the relevant application in your file, and
  • select Court Events and Orders. This section will show you the time and date of any upcoming or past hearings, along with any orders that have been made for your matter.

If you are not linked to your file on the Portal:

Please email enquiries@fedcourt.gov.au providing the following so we can link you to your file:

  1. Your full name
  2. The other party’s name
  3. Your Commonwealth Courts Portal account username
  4. Your file number, if known or confirm if already provided.

You will require either:

  • Federal Circuit and Family Court forms 
  • Federal Court forms - these are available on the Federal Court website.

If you are unsure which forms you should use to file your application, you should obtain independent legal advice. The Court is unable to provide legal advice because to do so could seriously compromise the Court’s ability to impartially determine a case.

For information on free services that may be able to assist you, see to the Federal Court website.

Once you have completed your forms and you are ready to file your application, you should use the Court’s electronic filing platform, eLodgment.

You must register first for an eLodgment account which may take up to 24 hours to complete. If your registration request needs to expedited, contact the National Enquiry Centre by using the Live chat service on this page.

Once your registration has been accepted, to file your application:

  1. Select the Jurisdiction and Type of Action
  2. Upload the documents and any supporting documents
  3. Enter the contact details of the person responsible for the eLodgment
  4. Pay any necessary fees either via credit card, an account or ask the Court to exempt the fees (lodgement of an application to exempt from payment of court fees form is required)
  5. Finalise and submit the eLodgment.

So that we can help you efficiently, it is important to note:

If you are waiting on the phone as well, you should hang up: The same staff manage the phone and Live chat. In most cases the Live chat queue will be answered faster than waiting on the phones. Waiting on both queues may increase your wait time overall.

If you already have a file or are a lawyer, you should have the file number ready: We will ask you some questions to verify your identity before we can provide you with information from your file.

Live chat may be closed temporarily during the day if we are dealing with a high volume of calls: If the service is closed you can wait until the service resumes or email us with your enquiry.

Before using Live chat please view our privacy policy and disclaimer.

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