I Want to Get Divorced. What Does That Mean?

Divorce is a significant life event that can be overwhelming and emotionally charged. If you’ve found yourself thinking, “I want to get divorced,” it’s essential to understand what this decision entails and how the legal process works. Clients often mix up divorce with the process of sorting out property matters or arranging parenting agreements.

What is Divorce?

A divorce is the legal termination of a marriage. When you decide to get divorced, it means that you are formally ending your marital relationship. This decision can be initiated by either party in the marriage, provided certain criteria are met.

Grounds for Divorce

The only ground for divorce is that the marriage has irretrievably broken down. This is established if you and your spouse have been separated for at least 12 months.


To meet the 12-month separation requirement, you and your spouse must have lived separately and apart during this period. It’s important to note that you can still be living under the same roof but be considered separated if you are no longer in a marital relationship.

Applying for Divorce

To get divorced, you’ll need to apply to the Federal Circuit Court and Family Court of Australia through their online portal. This process involves filling out specific forms and paying a filing fee. You may want to consider seeking legal advice at this stage to ensure that your application is correct and complete.

Children and Property Matters

While the divorce itself legally ends your marriage, it doesn’t address other important issues, such as parenting arrangements or a property settlement.  You should consider addressing these issues even before you officially file for divorce. You don’t have to wait until the divorce is finalized to begin working on your property settlement or parenting arrangements. In fact, it’s highly advisable to seek legal advice promptly, sometimes even before separating, to handle these matters.

Legal Assistance

Navigating the divorce process can be challenging, especially when emotions are running high. Engaging the services of a family law solicitor can provide you with expert guidance, ensuring that your rights are protected and that all legal requirements are met. Whether you have children or significant assets to consider, having the right legal support is invaluable.

Deciding to get divorced is a significant step, and it’s essential to understand the legal process involved. It’s crucial to consult with a qualified family law solicitor who can offer tailored advice and representation based on your unique circumstances.


If you’re considering divorce or have already started the process, don’t hesitate to contact us or call our office on (02) 4943 3988 to speak with us. We are always here to help, and have years of experience assisting people in the Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and Hunter region.

This blog was written by Senior Associate,
 Liz McIntyre
Liz practises in the areas of Family Law, Wills & Estate Planning,
Deceased Estates, Wills disputes and Conveyancing

Family Law

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