Once you have been formally separated from your ex-partner for 12 months, you can apply for a divorce through the courts. Our family lawyers in Cairns will provide you with advice about the divorce process, costs, and relevant time limits so you can make decisions with confidence.

An established law firm since 1991, we have a wealth of experience handling all types of divorces and separations. Whether you and your ex-partner are on good terms, or need mediation to come to an agreement, our experienced family divorce lawyers, will help you navigate through the process and ensure your rights are properly protected.

Divorces and separations can be stressful, without the added pressure of legal fees or navigating through the process without legal representation, which only makes the situation harder. We are confident that our team will not only ensure you are aware of your entitlements but will help you reach the best solution. With this in mind, we can offer payment plans to help reduce the stress. In some circumstances, we can offer a fixed fee service or deferred payment option to relieve the financial burden of engaging an expert divorce lawyer.

Contact one of our expert Divorce Lawyers to find out if you are eligible.

Why you need legal representation in a divorce?

When a marriage or de facto relationship ends, there is always a division of debt and assets, such as a house, or superannuation. Even in an amicable separation, discussions about splitting finances can cause friction and without knowing your rights, you could leave yourself exposed. We pride ourselves on reaching the best outcome for our clients in the family courts.

We always treat our clients and their requests with compassion and understanding. Our family lawyers will help you work through the process so you can navigate your divorce, child custody and financial matters with peace of mind that you are supported every step of the way.

Next steps

When you are ready to apply for a divorce, the procedure is straightforward:

  • Complete the Application for Divorce, available online via the Family Court of Australia page.
  • Sign the application in the presence of a qualified witness, such as a family lawyer.
  • Ensure you have a copy of your marriage certificate when filing the application with the court. There is also a court filing fee
  • If you have filed a sole application, you will need to serve the application on your spouse. A lawyer can help you with this.
  • Attend the divorce hearing
  • The Divorce Order will be sent you by the court one month and one day following the Divorce Hearing.

Learn about your options through an obligation free consultation with one of our family lawyers in Cairns. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the difference between legal separation and divorce?

A separation, according to Australian family law, is the act of ending the marriage or de facto relationship. You are therefore no longer considered to be a couple.

A divorce is the formal legal ending of the marriage which follows the separation. The parties involved need to be separated for at least 12 months, to show the marriage has broken down.

Whilst separated couples do not need to go through the divorce process, you should speak to our team of expert family laws to understand the legal implications of remaining married.

What if I can’t afford a divorce lawyer?

We know that going through a divorce can be a challenging time and that the additional financial stress only compounds the situation. This is why we offer payment plans and deferred payment options to ease the financial burden of resolving your family law matter.

What if I don’t want a divorce?

Although you may not wish to get a divorce, if your spouse wants a divorce and you have been separated for more than a year, then the divorce application will be granted.

If you have not been separated for 12 months and you don’t want the divorce to be granted, you can oppose the divorce order.

What if the other person lives in another state?

If your spouse lives outside of Queensland, you may divorce in either state. However, it will be to your advantage to file an application for a divorce before your spouse, as this will ensure the proceedings take place in Queensland.

How long does a divorce take?

The process of applying and then finalising a divorce takes approximately four months but each case is different, so timeframes can vary, particularly if it is a complicated matter.

Can I get married again straight away?

You must wait until your divorce is final, which is one month after the divorce was granted.

Do you have to change your name after the divorce?

The decision to change your name back to your maiden name or to keep your married name, is entirely up to you. There are no legal requirements for you to revert back to your maiden name. Whilst everyone is different, some people prefer to keep their married surname, particularly if they have built a reputation or a career whilst in the marriage. Names are not legal property and therefore you cannot be forced to stop using your married name, so the choice is yours.

Changing the surname of any children within the marriage however is slightly more complex. This requires both parents to consent to the name change and should form part of the Court Order. Both parents will need to sign the change of name at the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages. Speak to one of our expert family lawyers to help guide you through this process.

Does getting divorce have any impact on my will or superannuation?

Seek professional advice about your will or super. A divorce will invalidate any gift left to your former spouse in your will. You will also need to review the beneficiary for your superannuation if it is your previous husband or wife.

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