Work out whether you can apply
- Do you or your partner have a link to Australia?
- Do you have grounds for divorce and meet all of the requirements?
- Have you been separated from the other party for at least 12 months?
- Have you been married less than two years? If so, have you either both attended counselling and considered getting back together or, even though you have not, are there special circumstances why the hearing of your application should go ahead
- Have proper arrangements been made for the children?
Get instructions on how to apply for a divorce
Divorces are now lodged electronically and information about this process can be found on the Federal Circuit Court's website (see 'How do I apply for a divorce?').
After you have filled out the application you will need to sign it in front of a Justice of the Peace or lawyer.
Gather supporting documents
- Do you have a copy of your marriage certificate?
- If your marriage certificate is not in the English language, do you have an accredited translation and an affidavit by the translator?
- Do you need to file any other affidavits?
- Were you separated under one roof? If so, you will need to file an affidavit providing evidence that you were separated under one roof.
- If you have been married for less than two years, are there special circumstances why you have not attended counselling and considered getting back together? If so, you will need to file an affidavit outlining what those special circumstances are.
File the application and supporting documents
Make two photocopies of the application and supporting documents [see Family Law Rules 2004 r 24.08].
The easiest way to file a divorce application in South Australia is to either take or post it to the Family Law Courts Registry at:
Roma Mitchell Commonwealth Law Courts Building3 Angas Street, Adelaide SA 5000GPO Box 9991 Adelaide SA 5001
You will need to pay a filing fee by cash, cheque, money order or credit card.
If you are paying by credit card, you can use the Credit Card Payment Form.
The court stamps and returns the copies which have the date of the hearing recorded on them.
See Federal Magistrates Court Rules 2001 r 2.05.
Serve the application and supporting documents
If you are making an application on your own, you will need to serve the other party.
Do you know the whereabouts of the other party?
If not, you will need to do what you can to find out.
You may need to consider making an application for substituted service or dispensation of service. You would need to file an Application in a Case and an Affidavit. You should get legal advice.
You can call our free Legal Help Line on 1300 366 424 if you need advice or help with your divorce application.
The content of the Law Handbook is made available as a public service for information purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for legal advice. See Disclaimer for details. For free and confidential legal advice in South Australia call 1300 366 424.