Applying for a Divorce

Are you at that point when you feel like you’ve given your marriage everything and there is nothing left to give? Perhaps you are considering divorce. As much as it would be nice if people could move quickly through this phase, in such an emotional time, it is important to work your way carefully through the process. You don’t want to find that you void your rights or have the courts find against your application because you haven’t followed the rules correctly. Take the time to read through everything below carefully so you get an understanding of your rights and obligations in preparation for an Application for Divorce.


One of the first steps for many people is to separate. For a lot of people, this can mean that one of the partners leaves the marital home and moves into their own dwelling. In other cases, you might continue to live under the same roof but not as partners.

Separation often occurs when the relationship between the parties has irretrievably broken down. Most people will know when this occurs, and often follows from a significant event where one person has made it clear to the other that the relationship is over. This also means that you can be “separated” but continue residing under the same roof and still apply for divorce.

From a legal point of view, it is possible to still be living in the same house and be separated. So long as the intent is that you consider the marriage to be over and there is no chance of reconciliation, you can still be living in the same house and working towards future divorce proceedings.

What are the steps between separation and divorce?

If you have decided to separate and divorce, there is so much to consider:
• What financial arrangements need to be put in place?
• What custody and care arrangements need to be set up to ensure the children are protected and cared for?
• Who will stay in the house?
• Where will the children live?
• How will the rent or mortgage be paid?
• Who keeps the assets that the family has accumulated?
• How long do I need be separated before I can apply for divorce?
• I can’t afford to move out, does that mean I’m stuck here forever?

In any divorce proceedings, it is the welfare of the children that is critical. The courts will look to see what arrangements are in place and that they are going to be cared for adequately not only during the separation phase but moving forward as well. In a perfect world, you and your partner will both acknowledge that the marriage is over and work together to come up with a solution that respects each other fairly and also ensures the children are looked after properly.

If the emotions are still raw and having a civil conversation just isn’t happening, you may need to apply to the courts to make rulings on everything from distribution of assets, living arrangements, child support and more.

How long after Separating can you apply for Divorce?

To apply for divorce, you need to have been separated for a period of at least 12 months.

If you wish to apply for divorce or need to get further advice, then please contact Adelaide Family Law on 8113 3111 or email us to book an appointment.