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Separation & Divorce

A relationship breakdown is a challenging time, especially when children are involved. Even if you know the choice to separate or divorce is right for you, you want to ensure your children’s rights are protected and you can finalise a fair property settlement. It’s important to have an experienced, understanding lawyer on your side – one who can achieve the best outcome for you and your family. We are skilled negotiators and have been providing family law services for many years throughout Ringwood, Victoria. Where possible will endeavour to settle disputes outside of court and do our best to save you time, money, and stress.

Our family law services include:

  • Divorce and nullity proceedings
  • Pre-nuptial and separation agreements
  • Spousal maintenance
  • Property and financial settlements
  • Child support and enforcement of payments
  • Parenting plans for child custody and visitation
  • Guardianship of children
  • Adoption
  • Paternity/parentage issues
  • Domestic and family violence and Intervention Orders (IVOs)
  • Family mediation
  • Same sex relationships
  • De facto relationships

Getting a Divorce

Divorce is the legal end of a marriage. Australia has “no fault” divorce. This means that when granting a divorce, the Court does not consider the reason the marriage ended. Neither spouse needs to prove that the other did (or did not) do something which caused the breakdown of the marriage. The only ground for divorce is that the marriage broke down and there is no reasonable chance that the parties will get back together. The Family Law Act describes it as “irretrievable breakdown of marriage evidenced by 12 months continuous separation”.

Requirements for Divorce

You can apply for a divorce through the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia if either you or your spouse regard Australia as your home and intend to live in Australia indefinitely, or are an Australian citizen by birth, descent or by grant of Australian citizenship, or ordinarily live in Australia and have done so for 12 months immediately before filing for divorce.

You also need to satisfy the Court that you and your spouse have been separated for at least 12 months, and there is no reasonable likelihood of resuming married life. It is possible to live together in the same home and still be separated. This is known as being separated under one roof. Same-sex couples are treated the same as other married couples and can apply for divorce in the same way.

If you were married overseas, and your marriage is recognised in Australia, you can seek a divorce through the Australian courts. You must provide the Court with a copy of your marriage certificate. If your marriage certificate is not in English, you need to upload an English translation of the marriage certificate, together with an affidavit from a certified translator.

If there are children aged under 18, a Court can only grant a divorce if it is satisfied that proper arrangements have been made for them but will not expect that you have a formal agreement in place. You will be asked to provide information about any children of the marriage (or children who were treated as members of the family in your application). Be sure to provide sufficient detail about how the children spend time and communicate with each parent, their education, health and financial support.


You should not make plans to remarry until your divorce order is finalised (in most cases, one month and one day after the divorce hearing). The divorce process takes time, and you should not assume the divorce will be granted at the first court hearing. If your application is deficient or the court has questions about a particular part of your application, you may be asked to provide more information.

Property and Children

It is important to know that the granting of a divorce does not determine issues of financial support, property division or arrangements for children. It is simply a formal recognition that the marriage has ended. However, the granting of a divorce does start limitation periods (time limits) for applying to the Court in relation to most financial matters. Most financial and property proceedings arising from the breakdown of a marriage must be started within 12 months of the divorce order taking effect, unless otherwise agreed with the other party.

To find out how we can help you, email [email protected] or call 03 9870 3252 for a confidential discussion with Fiona who is an experienced family lawyer in Ringwood.