DOOLAN WAGNER - family lawyers sydney

Divorce Lawyer Sydney

Navigating divorce in Australia

Divorce is a major life event for every Australian family. While you may be certain that it’s time for you and your partner to go separate ways, navigating your legal obligations during this highly emotional time can be stressful.

Doolan Wagner Family Lawyers is a highly professional and experienced Family Law firm. Our sharp team of divorce lawyers in Sydney will work with you to achieve the best possible outcome for you and your family. With our insightful and practical legal counsel, you can confidently step into your new phase of life.

Doolan Wagner Family Lawyers provide various legal services to help our clients work through their divorce. From understanding your child custody rights to providing compassionate counsel during domestic violence situations, our qualified team is highly competent and understands all areas of Family Law.

If you are going through a divorce, have your case taken care of by getting in touch with one of our divorce lawyers today.

Applying for a divorce

The decision to apply for a divorce is never an easy one, as it signifies the irrevocable breakdown of your marriage. But before you and your spouse can go your separate ways legally, a few criteria must be met.

Eligibility for divorce

Before you can divorce your spouse, Australian Law requires both parties to have been separated and living separately for at least 12 months. It’s important to note that while you are separated from your spouse, you are still legally married even though one party has intentionally decided to end the marriage.

If you have been married for less than two years, you and your spouse must attend marriage counselling to determine whether the marriage can be reconciled.

While separated couples can choose to continue living together during this period, it can make proving the separation date difficult. In these circumstances, we recommend you seek the legal guidance of our divorce lawyers, who are highly qualified to handle the matter.

Once the separation period ends, you can file your application for a divorce through the court, either on your own or jointly with your spouse.

Court requirements

Applications for a divorce must be completed online and submitted via the Commonwealth Courts Portal. As part of your application, you will need to submit the following documents:

  • Your marriage certificate 
  • Proof of jurisdiction (Australian citizenship certificate, Australian passport or visa)
  • Marriage counselling certificate (for marriages less than two years old)
  • An affidavit stating that you have been living separately for at least 12 months, if you have remained living under the one roof

Once your application has been completed, you will be asked to pay the filing fee. The amount you are required to pay will depend on the nature of your case and if you have eligible government concession cards or are experiencing financial hardship.

Am I required to be at the hearing?

When your application for divorce has been processed, you can view your hearing details on the Commonwealth Courts Portal. It will list the date and time of your hearing and the name of the registrar who will hear and determine your application. As divorce hearings are conducted electronically, the portal will also provide details on how to attend the hearing.

Court attendance is only required for yourself or a lawyer acting on your behalf if: 

  • The Court has advised you
  • You have filed a sole application
  • You have indicated that you wish to attend
  • You have filed the application solely and there is a child under the age of 18 at the time of filing
  • Either party has objected to the divorce being heard in your absence

Same-sex divorces in Australia 

Like heterosexual couples applying for divorce, same-sex couples must meet the same eligibility criteria before the application can be made. The couple must separate, live separately for at least 12 months, and receive counselling if they have been married for less than two years.

Helping you through your divorce

Divorce can be a complicated and emotionally intensive process, so having the expert counsel of a divorce lawyer in Sydney who can guide you through each stage is priceless. We understand that your children and financial security are your top priority during this difficult time, which is why our divorce lawyers are well-versed in all areas pertaining to Family Law. 

One matter our divorce lawyers deal with regularly is child custody. If your children are under 18 at the time of your divorce, all decisions must be made in their best interests. Doolan Wagner Family Lawyers will work with you to ensure all areas regarding your child’s welfare during your divorce are handled with compassion and fairness.

Equal parenting

Under the Family Law Act (Cth), unless a court or parenting order exists, both parents are presumed to have ‘equal shared parental responsibility’. This term encourages co-parenting and gives parents an equal say in decisions involving their children. Parents must be willing to genuinely consult with each other before making major decisions about their children’s lifestyles, such as their schooling or religious beliefs.

Equal shared parental responsibility is the more desirable solution for couples going through a divorce, as responsibility for the children can be determined outside the Court without needing mediation.

However, should you and your spouse be unable to make decisions amicably and are struggling to co-parent, we may recommend Parenting Coordination. This child-focused dispute resolution process helps parents agree on various issues, including coordinating holidays and time spent with both parents, health management and education disputes.

The safety of your children is the biggest priority when going through a divorce. Doolan Wagner Family Lawyers takes this responsibility very seriously and will work tirelessly to safeguard your rights and the welfare of your children.

Doolan Wagner Family Lawyers has helped countless separating families reach an amicable decision regarding their child’s living arrangements, schooling options, religious upbringing, immunisation and any area of concern our clients have.

Our team of divorce lawyers have dealt with child custody cases with varying degrees of complexity, including cases involving substance abuse and domestic violence. We can guide you through your rights and recommend the most suitable solution for you and your children.

Child support

Child support refers to the ongoing payment one parent must make to another who primarily cares for the child. As with any matter regarding finances, emotions can run high, so you may need to seek adequate counsel to protect your rights while ensuring your child receives the best support possible.

The amount of child support you receive depends on several factors, such as the age of your children, the number of children you have, your and your spouse’s income and the amount of time each party spends with the children.

Dividing property and assets

Another area that must be addressed during your divorce is how you and your spouse intend to divide any property or assets you share. This can include assets such as the family home, superannuation, shares, savings, vehicles and more. Again, it’s highly encouraged that you and your spouse aim to resolve these issues outside the Court.

Doolan Wagner Family Lawyers can help you protect your assets during your divorce and work with your partner to achieve a fair and equitable division of your assets.

How assets are divided under Australian law

The Family Law Act states that the division of assets between separating parties must be ‘just and equitable’. This means you should not assume that your assets will be split 50/50, as several factors are considered, including your initial contributions to the value of current assets and your incomes.

Spousal maintenance

Spousal maintenance refers to financial support paid by one party to their husband or wife when they cannot financially support themselves — a common practice when two parties are divorced. Usually, spousal maintenance or spousal support is court-ordered and typically ends if you remarry.

If you believe you are entitled to spousal support, Doolan Wagner Family Lawyers can help confirm your eligibility and secure the best financial support possible for your case. As lawyers for divorce, we can assist you with all areas regarding your separation from your partner, including your entitlements, after your divorce is finalised.

Applying for a divorce when married overseas or from another country

In Australia, divorces can be granted to separating couples who were married overseas or where one or both partners are living overseas, so long as either of you:

  • Consider Australia as their home or intend to live here indefinitely.
  • Are an Australian citizen or permanent resident by birth or descent or by a grant of Australian citizenship.
  • Normally live in Australia and have been for 12 months before filing for divorce.

Doolan Wagner Family Lawyers — leading divorce lawyers in Sydney

No one wants to get divorced and go through the legal process of separating from your partner. At Doolan Wagner Family Lawyers, we understand that divorce is a major life change that must be handled with compassion and courteousness. Our divorce lawyers are highly specialised across all areas of Family Law.

We will work with you to achieve the best possible outcome for you and your children so you can move on with your life peacefully. If you want to learn more about our legal services, please do not hesitate to contact us at (02) 9437 0010.


What’s the difference between separation and divorce?

A separation means that a married couple is no longer living together but still holds their marital status. A divorce is the legal termination of a marriage.

How much does it cost to get a divorce?

This will depend on the complexity of your case and the level of legal assistance you require. The Court’s filing fee for divorce costs $990, though you may be able to receive a discounted fee if you present eligible government concession cards or are in financial hardship.

What requirements must I meet before I can get a divorce?

All couples looking to divorce must be separated for at least 12 months. If you have been married for less than two years, you are also required to attend marriage counselling to attempt to reconcile the relationship.

Can I remarry before my divorce becomes final?

No, you must wait until your divorce order has taken effect and your divorce is finalised. This is typically delivered one month and one day after your divorce is granted by the Court.

Can I oppose a divorce application in Australia?

Generally, you cannot oppose a divorce application in Australia, though there are special circumstances where it is warranted. If you have been separated from your partner, you can only oppose the divorce if there has not been a 12-month separation as required and if you believe the Court does not have jurisdiction to grant the divorce.

Find out how our Divorce Lawyer can help you

Personalised advice with no obligation