Divorce Lawyers Melbourne, Sydney and Nationally

Australia operates on a no-fault divorce system, meaning that as long as specific conditions are met, any married individual can seek a divorce independently or jointly with their former spouse. The court takes into account factors like the duration of the marriage, the length of separation, the presence of any children, and proper service of the application before issuing a divorce order. 

Before obtaining a divorce from your spouse, Australian law mandates that both parties must have lived separately and been in a state of separation for a minimum of 12 months. It’s crucial to understand that during the separation period, even though one party has deliberately chosen to end the marriage, the legal status remains married.


If the marriage has lasted less than two years, attending marriage counseling is a requirement to explore the possibility of reconciliation.

While separated couples may opt to continue residing together, it can pose challenges in establishing the separation date. In such situations, seeking legal advice from our divorce lawyers, well-versed in handling such matters, is recommended.

Upon completion of the separation period, you can initiate the divorce application through the court, either individually or jointly with your spouse.

You can apply for a divorce even if you were married overseas as long as you live in Australia. If your marriage certificate is in a different language you will need to provide a translated copy to the court.

Our family lawyers cover all the essential legal steps in an easy-to-understand way, so you can feel confident in moving forward with your divorce. We’re always here to help you understand the issues that affect your family.

Our team of Divorce Lawyers offers guidance for intricate matters. With our wealth of experience, we can guide you through the divorce finalisation process, providing assistance in addressing additional challenges. These challenges may arise from issues accessing marriage records, religious considerations, cohabitation, family violence, or difficulties in locating the other party.

Rest assured that Patford-Smith Legal Services provides sound advice, and you’ll be working with some of the most skilled family and divorce lawyers Melbourne and Sydney has to offer.

The typical divorce process is 3 to 4 months from the time of filing the divorce application. When this has been done, a hearing date will be set, typically within 2 to 3 months. The court allows sufficient time for the application to be served before the hearing.

Initiating a divorce is distinct from a property settlement; while they frequently coincide, they are separate processes.

What happens to my Will in a Divorce?

If you have a Will, we recommend that you make a new Will reflecting the fact that you have separated. The divorce process has no direct effect to this.

Your existing Will remains valid unless you sign a document revoking it. If you do not have a Will, we recommend that you obtain one immediately. The law of intestacy means that if you were to die without a Will, your spouse is entitled to a share of your assets.

If you divorce, any provisions relating to your spouse become invalid. In some circumstances, you may not want this to occur. You need to ask your wills & estates lawyer to draft a will in terms that ensure it is still valid.

If you remarry, your will automatically becomes invalid – unless your will is made in contemplation of marriage.

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