Divorce Lawyers Gold Coast

We approach our work with compassion and understanding – because divorce is more than just the legal termination of marriage. Our team of family lawyers will help you end your marriage and move forward with your life in a positive way.

Our Gold Coast divorce lawyers have expertise across all areas of family law; separation, child custody, child support, spousal maintenance, property settlements, binding financial agreements, and family dispute resolution.

It is important to remember that if you are going through a divorce, you are not alone. Many marriages and relationships inevitably come to an end.

Contact our team of experienced family divorce lawyers today for a no obligation free 45 minute consultation about the divorce process or any other family law matter.

“No fault” divorce system

You no longer need to provide evidence of an affair, drunkenness, insanity or the like when applying for a divorce in Australia. The Family Law Act 1975 introduced a no fault divorce system.

You do, however, need to show that the marriage has broken down irretrievably and there is no reasonable likelihood of reconciliation.

It is important to note that even though Australia has a no fault divorce system, there may be some factors the Court considers when making parenting arrangements also known as child custody. For example, a history of mental illness, drug or alcohol abuse or domestic violence in the marriage may be considered when the Court makes a decision on who the children will live with or spend time with.

How to apply for divorce?

You can apply for a divorce on your own or jointly with your former spouse. In Australia, you’re eligible to apply for a divorce if either you or your former 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 the 12 months immediately before filing for divorce.

Additionally, the Court must be satisfied that:

  • you and your former spouse have lived separately and apart for at least 12 months, and
  • there is no prospect or reasonable likelihood of reconciliation.

Separated but still living in the same home

If you and your former spouse have been separated under the same roof it is still possible to apply for a divorce. Some of the things the Court looks for when determining if you have actually been separated are:

  • a change in sleeping arrangements
  • a reduction in joint activities with your former spouse or de facto partner
  • a decline in shared household activities, including cooking and eating meals together
  • the division of financial contributions, by cancelling joint bank accounts and paying for bills or utilities from your individual incomes, for example
  • discussions of the breakdown of your relationship or marriage with friends or family
  • notifications to government departments or institutions that you are no longer in a relationship with your former spouse or de facto partner (informing Centrelink that you are single, for example).

Unless you are confident that you can demonstrate this successfully then you should wait until you are physically separated and living apart for a period of 12 months before you decide to apply for a divorce.

If you and your former spouse have reconciled briefly, you can still apply for a divorce if:

  • the period of reconciliation was no longer than three months, and
  • the period of separation prior to and after the brief reconciliation add up to at least 12 months.

Same-sex divorces in Australia

Same-sex marriages are recognised retrospectively from 9 December 2017, which is the date same-sex marriage became recognised in Australia. Therefore, if you and your former spouse separated prior to this date the 12-month separation period is still required.

If you and your former spouse were married overseas prior to 2017 you are still eligible to apply for a divorce in Australia provided you meet the standard eligibility requirements.

How to apply for a divorce if you were married overseas?

The same process applies for a Divorce Application if you were married overseas, provided you or your former 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 the 12 months immediately before filing for divorce.

Your overseas divorce is recognised here in Australia

If you and your former spouse have been granted a Divorce Order overseas, then it will be recognised in Australia provided it was made in accordance with the local laws of the country where the divorce was issued.

EXPERIENCED LAWYERS

Jill Wolff

Special Counsel

BA, JD, GradDipLP

Jill heads our Family Law area of practice, bringing experience, knowledge and a practical approach to the firm.

+61 (0)7 5556 7439

Hannah Marchmont

Solicitor

LL.B, GradDipLP

As a member of the Hickey Lawyer’s Family Law team, Hannah advises clients on a range of Family Law matters including parenting, property settlements, de facto relationships and divorce.

+61 (0)7 5556 7457
RELATED NEWS & UPDATES

4th November 2020

Family Law Expansion For Hickey Lawyers

Leading Gold Coast law firm, Hickey Lawyers, has added a Family Law offering to its long-established practice.

15th June 2020

Qld Implementation Of The National Code Of Conduct

QLD has now passed legislation giving effect to the Mandatory Code of Conduct, with the Retail Shop Leases and Other Commercial Leases

9th June 2020

Proposed Major Reforms Of Foreign Investment Laws

On 5 June 2020, the Federal Government announced that they will shortly be presenting draft legislation which will include