Courts dealing

with Divorce

Which court deals with divorce?

The Federal Circuit Court of Australia can deal with divorce. There are Federal Circuit Courts located at Albury, Armidale, Broken Hill, Coffs Harbour, Dubbo, Lismore, Newcastle, Orange, Parramatta, Sydney CBD, Tamworth, Wagga Wagga, Wauchope, and Wollongong.

Does the court have the legal power (known as jurisdiction) to hear my divorce application?

You can apply for a divorce in Australia if either you or your spouse:

  • Regard Australia as your home and intend to live in Australia indefinitely
  • Are an Australian citizen by birth, descent or by grant of Australian citizenship, or
  • Ordinarily live in Australia and have done so for 12 months immediately before filing for divorce.

Do I have to attend court?

If you do not have children, you do not need to attend the hearing. It is a matter for you.

If you have children under the age of 18 years and you make a joint application, you do not have to attend court.

A child of the marriage includes:

  • Any child of you and your spouse, including children born before the marriage or after separation
  • Any child adopted by you and your spouse, or
  • Any child who was treated as a member of your family prior to your separation (for example, a step-child or foster child).

If you have children under the age of 18 years and are applying on your own, you must come to the Court for your hearing, at the time and date entered on your application form.

What if I physically can not get to the court hearing?

If it is difficult for you to attend in person, you may ask the court to appear by telephone. You will need to contact the court registry well in advance to provide the reasons as to why you need to appear via telephone.

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