Divorce & Separation

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Divorce and separation is almost always traumatic for everyone involved. Even separations that start out amicably can too easily become muddled by emotion. Yet the personal and legal decisions made over this period, will ultimately have a significant and long-lasting effect on your life.

Bryant McKinnon Lawyers bring over 40 years experience to help you plot your course through separation and divorce. We provide you with personalized, fully frank advice to enable you to make the best decisions through challenging, often exhausting, times.

Separation – Married or De Facto Relationship

Under Family Law, separation occurs when one person in a marriage or de facto relationship communicates to the other that the relationship is over. Usually it is the departure of one partner from the shared home that marks a formal separation. However, it is possible for couples to continue to live under the same roof and still be considered separated.

If you plan to completely dissolve your personal and financial relationship, then the date of separation can be important. You cannot get a divorce until you have been separated for at least 12 months. When it comes to financial matters, the Court requires two years of separation for de facto couples and one year of divorce for married couples before it will issue Orders about division of property, spousal maintenance or partner support.

There is no requirement to register a separation under Australian Family Law. However divorce and property settlement can be affected by disputes over date of separation. It’s a good idea to confirm your separation in writing, even if it’s just a text message. If you are separated and living under the same roof it’s important to change your lifestyle to definitively demonstrate separation.

If you are considering separation, or have recently separated and would like to speak to one of our expert Family Law solicitors for advice please feel free to contact us.


Divorce is quite simply the formal termination of your marriage. In most circumstances it is a relatively straightforward, albeit highly stressful process.

You must apply to the Family Court for a divorce and the Court needs to find that your marriage is “irretrievably broken down”. The only evidence required to make this finding is that you have been separated for a period of 12 months. (The Court does allow for one period of reconciliation up to 3 months after you have separated.)

A divorce kit can be downloaded from the Federal Circuit Court website. You can apply on your own or jointly with your partner.

How Bryant McKinnon Lawyers Can Help

Our experienced and specialised legal qualifications enable us to provide:

  • Advice and assistance helping to cope with the situation;
  • A clear understanding of the options available and the long and short term impact of each option;
  • Advice on property settlement and children’s matters;
  • Representation at Family Court if necessary.

If you would like assistance from a lawyer in seeking a divorce or advice prior to making an application on your own please contact us.

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