Divorce applications

To obtain a divorce you need to apply to the Family Court of Western Australia.

To do this you must be ordinarily living in Australia or an Australian citizen.

You also 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 must then ensure that your properly serve your application on your spouse.

You may prepare your own divorce application or ask a lawyer to do it for you.

If your situation is straightforward you should apply for your divorce yourself as the process is designed to be completed without the need for legal assistance. If this is the case, you can go to the Family Court of Western Australia website (http://www.familycourt.wa.gov.au/d/divorce.aspx) which provides comprehensive and easy to understand divorce application information. This website also explains the filing requirements in applying for a divorce and what documents you need to accompany your divorce application.

If your situation is a little more complex, for example, you have been separated but living under the same roof or broken up a number of times and then reconciled, you may want to visit us before making your application. This is because we can assist you in drafting the documents necessary to provide the Court with the information it needs to be able to grant you a divorce.

One thing to keep in mind, is the timing of your divorce. This is because the time allowed (12 months) for making a property settlement application at Court runs from this date.

The Law Society of Western Australia Family Law Practitioners Association of Western Australia Law Council of Australia Family Law Section