Understanding Divorce and
Separation in Australia in 2023

August 5, 2023
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At some point in our lives, we may find ourselves in a situation where a marriage or de facto relationship has come to an end. This can be an emotionally challenging time, but it is important to have a basic understanding of the legal process in Australia when it comes to divorce and separation. In this article, we will provide an overview of the key aspects of divorce and separation in Australia in 2023.  

What is Divorce and Separation?

Divorce refers to the legal process of formally ending a marriage. Separation, on the other hand, is the process of ending a marriage or de facto relationship without legally dissolving it.

How to Apply for Divorce in Australia

In Australia, to apply for a divorce, you need to have been separated from your spouse for at least 12 months. You must also be an Australian citizen or resident or have been living in Australia for at least 12 months before applying for a divorce. You can apply for a divorce online or by completing a paper application form. There is a filing fee for divorce applications, but you may be eligible for a reduced fee if you meet certain criteria.

Grounds for Divorce

In Australia, there is only one ground for divorce: that the marriage has irretrievably broken down. This means that there is no reasonable likelihood of reconciliation between the parties. It is not necessary to prove fault or blame for the breakdown of the marriage

Property Settlement

When a marriage or de facto relationship ends, the parties will need to divide their property and assets. In Australia, the Family Law Act 1975 sets out the legal principles for property settlement. The court will consider various factors, such as the parties’ financial contributions, non-financial contributions, and future needs when determining a fair and equitable property settlement.

Parenting Arrangements and Child Support

If there are children in the marriage, the parties will need to reach an agreement on parenting arrangements and child support. The best interests of the child are the primary consideration in determining child parenting arrangements. Child support is usually calculated based on the income of both parties and the amount of time the children spend with each parent.

Alternative Dispute Resolution

In many cases, parties may be able to resolve issues related to divorce and separation through alternative dispute resolution methods such as mediation, negotiation, or arbitration. These methods can be less costly and time-consuming than going to court and may help parties to maintain a better relationship post-separation.

Divorce Lawyers and Separation Lawyers in Sydney

If you are going through a divorce or separation, it is important to seek legal advice from an experienced family lawyer. Meredith Lawyers is a reputable Sydney based family law firm with a team of family lawyers who can help you navigate the legal process and protect your rights. Our family lawyers have excellent skills to provide you with the advice and support you need to make informed decisions about your future.


Divorce and separation can be a complex and emotional process, but having a basic understanding of the legal process in Australia can help to make it a little easier. Remember that there are resources available to help you through this time, including legal advice, counseling, and support services. If you’re in Sydney, be sure to contact Meredith Lawyers and engage our team of qualified divorce or separation lawyers who will ensure that your legal rights are protected. 

For more information on divorce and separation, please contact our experienced specialist family law team today on 1300 537 306  or send us an email at admin@meredithlawyers.com.au

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