In Australia, people commonly use the term “Divorce” when what they actually mean is a financial settlement following the breakdown of their relationship; or parenting arrangements; or spousal maintenance or child support. Technically speaking a Divorce is the dissolution of a marriage and is quite separate from a financial settlement, parenting arrangements, spousal maintenance and child support. De facto couples are not married and, as such, cannot divorce. However, both married couples and de facto couples can and should ensure that they legally sever their financial relationship and make arrangements for the children.

Divorce Lawyers Geelong

At Cornish Lawyers, we understand the complex emotional and legal challenges that arise during the process of divorce. Our team of experienced and compassionate family lawyers in Geelong is here to provide you with professional guidance and support throughout this difficult time. We focus on handling divorce cases and ensuring the protection of your rights and interests.

Divorce in Australia: A ‘No-Fault’ Jurisdiction

In Australia, divorce operates on a ‘no-fault’ jurisdiction. This means that the specific reasons for the separation are not considered by the Court when granting a divorce. It is possible for the 12-month period of separation to start while you are still separated but living under the same roof. However, you will need to show the Court that you lived in separate rooms and led separate lives during that time.

The evidence required is an Affidavit (a sworn statement) from you to that effect and an Affidavit from a corroborating witness who can verify this, such as a neighbour, family member or friend. Our team of dedicated divorce lawyers and solicitors in Geelong recognises this legal framework and approaches each case with a focus on the breakdown of the marriage itself.

Divorce Lawyers | No-Fault Jurisdiction

Obtaining & Submitting Your Marriage Certificate

When filing your Application for Divorce, it is essential to provide the Court with a copy of your marriage certificate. If your marriage certificate is not in English, you must submit an English translation of it along with an affidavit from the translator.

In case your marriage took place overseas, and you don’t have a copy of your marriage certificate, you should try to obtain one from the relevant authority where the marriage occurred. If obtaining a copy is not possible, you must file an Affidavit – Family Law and Child Support with the Court explaining the reasons for being unable to provide the certificate.

For marriages conducted in Australia, you need to apply to the relevant State or Territory Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages to obtain a copy of the marriage certificate and file it with the Court. Please note that the Court will only consider exceptional circumstances for allowing an Application for Divorce without a marriage certificate.

Applying for Divorce with Confidence

You can apply either by yourself or jointly with your spouse for a divorce. You will need to prepare an Application for Divorce which we can assist you with for a fixed fee, and our team of divorce lawyers in Geelong can assist you throughout the process.

If you apply solely, you will need to arrange to serve a copy of the application to your spouse, and we can assist with this too. In some cases, for example, if you hold certain government concession cards or you are experiencing financial hardship, you may be eligible for a reduced fee. To be eligible for a reduced fee for a joint application, both you and your spouse must qualify for the same reduction. If only one spouse qualifies for the reduction, then the full fee applies. The Court does not set the fees payable. Court fees are set by Federal Government Regulations.

Once the application is submitted, the Court will assign a hearing date. In most instances, attendance at the hearing is unnecessary unless you have children under the age of 18 and are seeking divorce individually. For cases involving children, it is crucial to demonstrate appropriate arrangements for their care as part of the Divorce Application.

If you require the assistance of a skilled family law attorney in order to apply for divorce, contact our firm today to schedule a consultation.

Divorce Attorney | Apply for Divorce In Geelong

Key Requirements & Agreements for Geelong Families

In order to proceed with a divorce in Australia, it is important for both you and your spouse to fulfil certain requirements:

  1. Agreement on Financial Assets: It is recommended that you and your spouse reach a mutual agreement on how to divide your financial assets and obligations. Although this is not strictly required by the court, having a Separation Agreement in place is highly recommended.

  2. Custody of Children: If you have minor children (under 18 years of age), it is essential to come to an agreement regarding their custody arrangements. This ensures that their best interests are protected throughout the divorce process.

  3. Period of Separation: You and your spouse must have lived separately for a period of at least 12 months or have lived together but in a separated manner. This demonstrates to the court that the marriage has irretrievably broken down.

  4. No Likelihood of Reconciliation: It is important to establish that there is no possibility of reconciliation or reconciliation attempts to save the marriage. This further substantiates the irretrievable breakdown of the relationship.

During the 12-month period of separation, the division of financial assets and ongoing financial obligations, such as school fees for children, can be agreed upon. These arrangements should be documented in a Separation Agreement. In the event that an agreement cannot be reached through mediation, the Family Law Court may intervene and make a decision before the divorce can be granted.

Navigating the complexities of divorce can be challenging, which is why it is advisable to seek the assistance of experienced family lawyers. If you require guidance and support during your divorce process, our team of skilled family lawyers is here to help. Contact our law firm in Geelong today to schedule a consultation with a knowledgeable divorce lawyer or solicitor.

Addressing Post-Divorce Matters

It is important to note that the granting of a divorce by the Court does not determine issues related to financial support, property division, or arrangements for children. These matters require separate consideration and resolution. Our team of dedicated property lawyers in Geelong provide valuable legal advice and representation for property division concerns. In addition, as child support lawyers, we provide valuable legal advice and representation for matters concerning child support. We prioritise fairness and work diligently towards achieving a favourable settlement.

Child Support Lawyers in Geelong

Professional Services & Personalised Support

At Cornish Lawyers, our accredited family law solicitors are committed to providing professional competence and personalised support tailored to your unique circumstances. We understand that divorce is a highly personal and challenging process, which is why we strive to ensure that your rights and interests are protected every step of the way.

If you or someone you know is facing divorce or separation, we strongly advise seeking legal advice early. Our compassionate team of divorce attorneys is here to guide you through the complexities of divorce and help you overcome the associated challenges.

To take the first step or for further inquiries, we invite you to contact our trusted law firm Geelong. Our experienced solicitors in Geelong are ready to assist you and provide the professional support you need during this transformative period.


At Cornish Lawyers we offer a free consultation so that you can discuss your family or property law rights with an experienced lawyer. Don't hesitate to take advantage of this opportunity to consult with our knowledgeable family lawyers in Geelong.

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