Checklist: Applying for a Divorce Order
Use this checklist to help you remember everything you need to do to apply for a divorce up to attending the hearing. For more information, see Applying for a divorce.
This checklist is not legal advice. Not all of the actions or directions in the checklist will apply to your case. If you don’t know what to do, you should get legal advice.
Get your documents
If you don’t provide the court with all the necessary documents, your application may be adjourned or dismissed.
- Marriage Certificate
- Translation of Marriage Certificate
- Affidavit: Translation of Marriage Certificate
- Citizenship certificate or visa documents
- Counselling Certificate
- Health care card
- Pensioner concession card
- Letter of grant of Legal Aid
- Centrelink statement of income.
Prepare your Affidavits
- In lieu of marriage certificate
- Separation under one roof
- Marriage less than 2 years and no counselling certificate
- Change of name (to a surname other than your maiden or married names).
Prepare your application for fee reduction
- Application for reduction of payment of divorce or decree of nullity – general, or Application for reduction of payment of divorce or decree of nullity - financial hardship
- Bank statements
- Credit card statements.
Complete your application
- Register for the Commonwealth Court Portal
- Get your Affidavit for eFiling Application witnessed and upload it
- Print the ‘Marriage, families and separation’ brochure
- Choose the Court location
- Pay the filing fee
- Choose the hearing date
- Check that your documents have been received and download the stamped documents.
Serve your spouse
If you don’t serve your spouse, your application may be adjourned or dismissed.
You don’t need to serve your spouse if you file a joint application.
There are special rules you must follow to serve your spouse in prison.
You must serve your spouse at least 28 days before the court hearing, if they are in Australia. If your spouse is overseas, you must serve them at least 42 days before the court hearing.
Prepare and file an Affidavit of Service
If you served your spouse by hand, you must file:
- An Affidavit of Service by Hand (Divorce)
- Acknowledgment of Service (Divorce)
- Affidavit Proving Signature (Divorce), if your spouse signed the Acknowledgement of Service (Divorce).
If you served your spouse by post, you must file:
- An Affidavit of Service by Post (Divorce) completed by you
- Acknowledgment of Service (Divorce) signed by your spouse.