UNCONTESTED DIVORCE

So, you’re both thinking of divorce and trying to make it as amicable as possible. If that is you and your spouse, we are pleased to offer free initial, personalised advice for you so that you can start to consider what options there might be. 

To start the process, click on the button and answer some simple questions. You will then receive a personalised report of what actions are available to you:

An uncontested divorce is one in which both spouses consent to divorce, that is, neither is contesting the divorce. Although divorce allows you to legally separate from each other, it does not necessarily involve deciding where the children live or what happens to your assets. If you have children, and/or haven’t finalised the split of assets, you will need to do these as well. (Please head over to the contested divorce tab and family law parenting arrangements and property settlements).

You don’t need to apply for a divorce as soon as you separate. You can apply for a divorce after agreeing on property or parenting matters. Or, you can complete the divorce, parenting arrangements and property settlement all at the same time. If you require legal advice on an uncontested divorce, we are more than happy to assist! Read on to discover how we can help you and what it costs.

What is the it cost to lodge an uncontested online divorce application?

The required filing fee for the Family Court of Australia is $930.

Our fixed fees are $550 (incl.GST).

The total cost for an uncontested divorce with Vania Holt Legal is $1480 (incl. GST).

What’s included in the fixed fee?

  • Completing the Application form for uncontested divorce; and
  • Filing the Application fee with the appropriate court; and
  • Corresponding with your spouse in relation to the Application; and
  • A copy of the Divorce Order for you and your spouse.

6 Conditions for Uncontested Online Divorce

We can assist in filing an uncontested divorce application if you can answer ‘yes’ to the following 6 questions. If you answer ‘no’ to any of the question, we can advise in relation to a contested divorce.

You need to have been separated from each other for 12 months. Separation is a special legal term and it means that you have separated your lives from one another. You can even prove that you’re separated if you’re both still living in the house. In order to do this, you need to show evidence that you are living your lives separately and apart, which is explained below.

If you have not been married for 2 years, there are 2 options that allow you still to file an Application for Divorce. You can arrange to have a Counsellor’s Certificate, which means that you will need to discuss the reasons for your divorce with Court appointed marriage counsellor. Otherwise, you can file an affidavit outlining the reasons for divorce. Both of these options are NOT covered by the fixed-fee. It will take about an hour to draft an affidavit by us, if that is required.

To determine whether you have been legally separated for 12 months, the Court will look at evidence to prove that you’ve been living ‘separately and apart’ for 12 months. The Court will look to evidence such as whether you have separate bank accounts, whether you attend social functions together or apart and if you’re maintaining a sexual relationship.

You can even be ‘separate and apart’ if you live together. This is called ‘separated under one roof’. If you rely on this, you need to show that you have changed your routines from the date of separation. That is, how is your life different to what it was when you were married? Are you in different bedrooms? Who takes care of the children and housework?

If you have not been separated for the 12 months, then this will require an affidavit by both parties. We can only draft one affidavit so unfortunately your spouse will need to find another solicitor to draft their affidavit.

This means that you both mutually agree to the divorce and consent to parenting arrangements and property settlement (if applicable). If your spouse does not consent, you can apply for a sole divorce. Sole Divorce Applications are NOT covered by the fixed-fee but please contact us and we can provide advice on costs which will depend on whether you have children or not.

If you have children under 18 years of age, you will need to provide detailed parenting arrangements. These arrangements can be through the court (Parenting Orders) or agreed between the parties (Parenting Plans).

If you have not completed proper care arrangements, we can assist. Please head over to ‘Family Law – Parenting Agreements’ for more detail.

What do I have to do and what documents are required?

We will need the following documents from you to file the divorce application:

  • A copy of your Marriage Certificate as issued by Births, Deaths and Marriages (not the Commemorative certificate); and
  • A copy of any financial or children’s Orders previously made between you and your spouse; and
  • A copy of any domestic violence orders currently in place; and
  • A copy of you passport or citizenship papers if you were not born in Australia.

What happens after I provide the documents?

We will complete the Application for Divorce to forward to you and your spouse for signing. Once we receive the signed Application back from you both, we will file the Application together with the filing fee. The Court will keep the original Application and provide you both with a ‘sealed’ copy of the Application for your records.
Once the application is filed, it will be set down for a hearing in (usually) about 6 weeks.

If it is a joint application, you do not need to appear in court. This is regardless of whether there are children or not. If your divorce application is successful, the Court will grant the Divorce Order and it becomes final one month and one day after it was made.

Do I need a solicitor to file for divorce?

If it is an uncontested divorce and you are happy filling out the forms on the Family Court website, then, not at all! You can do this on your own. You will need to ensure that you’re clear on the division of financial assets and the living arrangements for your children.  If you would like some legal advice, please let us know. We’d be happy to provide advice and representation if your circumstances at home do not allow you to attend a contested hearing or if there is domestic violence.

We can attend family law mediations, conciliation conferences, divorce hearings or negotiate out-of-court settlements. If an agreement has been reached on property and parenting arrangements, we can file consent orders with the Family Court.  If the divorce is contested, however, we cannot offer the fixed-fee Application for Divorce. Please head over to the Contested Divorce section for more information.

Can you help people with an online Application in other states?

Yes, we can. A divorce application is available for married couples in any state so we can help you with your Application all over Australia.

Do I need a solicitor to file for divorce?

Not at all! If you would like to file your own divorce application, please head over to the Family Court of Australia website: http://www.familycourt.gov.au/wps/wcm/connect/fcoaweb/home

What is NOT included in the Fixed Fee?

If we have to draft affidavits, this will incur additional costs. For example, you may need an affidavit if:

  • You have not been separated for 12 months;
  • You have not been married for 2 years;

We will tell you upfront if you need to pay for any extra work before we begin so everyone is clear on what is expected and there are no surprises!

What happened to the Family Court?

Family Law matters will all be now heard in the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (FCFCA) as the Family Court will be discontinued. There is still a court in Newcastle. The Court will have two divisions: a division for more complex matters which will include Family Law judges; while the other division with judges from the Federal Circuit Court of Australia will be the single point of entry for family law and child support cases.

How can Vania Holt Legal help with advice on divorce?

If you would like legal advice, please contact us on 0425 736 057 or at vania.holt@vaniaholt.com.au . Alternatively, you can initiate your family law matter below by clicking on the link to Settify. This will provide you with a free, personalised report of where your matter sits now. If you decide to engage Vania Holt Legal, we will have this information on file so that it saves you the first hour or two in fees – win/win for everyone! Nothing better than saving money!

We have an office in Maitland but can meet you at your office if that is more convenient.

Click through to our book now to get in contact with us schedule an appointment now.