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Separation And Divorce


Separation and divorce are steps of great significance. If you believe your relationship has fundamental and insoluble problems, and you wish to discuss the best way forward with someone else, remember that there are a wide range of services available to you.

To find a Family Relationship Provider please visit Family Relationships Online.

From 1 July 2006, Family Relationship Centres opened in various locations around Australia to provide families with information about relationships and separation.  Click here for a list of Family Relationship Centres.

If you do separate, you and your former partner may need to make some immediate decisions on practical issues including:

Separation is a stressful time for individuals and families. The decisions which need to be made are important, and short term arrangements can have long term consequences.  It is important that you seek independent legal advice either before you separate, or as soon as possible after you separate, so that you can be fully information in making those decisions.


When you apply for a divorce, the Family Law Act does not take account of the causes of marriage breakdown. It only requires that the marriage has broken down irretrievably.  Irretrievable breakdown is proven by a 12 month separation of the parties.  If you are married and you have been separated for at least twelve months, you can apply to the Family Court or Federal Circuit Court for a divorce.

If you have been married for a period of less than two years, you will normally require a counselling certificate before applying to the Court for a divorce.

If you have children, the Court has to be satisfied that you have made proper arrangements for your children’s welfare before granting a divorce.

Divorce marks the legal end of your marriage. However, your divorce will not settle the parenting of your children, child support, and the division of the property of your marriage or spousal maintenance. These issues are dealt with separately.

Further Information

The Family Court of Australia and the Federal Circuit Court both provide information about separation and divorce on their web sites.

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© 2010 Family Law Section. All Rights Reserved.

© 2010 Family Law Section. All Rights Reserved.