Family Law FAQs: Can I Get Divorced Without a Lawyer?

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In Australia, navigating the legal pathways of divorce can be a complex process, often leading individuals to question if they can undergo this significant life change and get a divorce without a lawyer.

At Clarity Lawyers, we understand the importance of providing clear and accessible information on this topic to empower individuals with the knowledge they need. So, if you’re wondering if you can get a divorce without lawyers, here’s what you need to know.

Can you divorce in Australia without lawyers?

Yes, it is possible to proceed with a divorce in Australia without engaging a lawyer.

Individuals can file a divorce application themselves through the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia.

The process involves submitting an online application via the Commonwealth Courts Portal, ensuring all necessary documentation, such as the marriage certificate and any required affidavits, are in order.

What is the divorce process?

The divorce process typically begins with the completion and submission of a divorce application.

For a divorce to be granted, parties must prove a marriage breakdown by living separately for at least 12 months.

This application can be made jointly or by a sole applicant, where the other party becomes the respondent.

Once the application is filed and the filing fee is paid, the court will set a hearing date. If all documentation is correct and the eligibility criteria are met, the divorce order will be issued one month and one day after the hearing.

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What are the pros and cons of getting divorced without a lawyer?


  • Reduced Costs: Not hiring a lawyer can significantly reduce expenses, as you will only need to pay the court filing fee.
  • Simplicity: In straightforward cases, where both parties agree on the divorce and there are no disputes over property, children, or spousal maintenance, the process can be relatively simple.


  • Complexity in Disputes: Without legal guidance, navigating disputes over assets, child custody, or spousal support can be challenging.
  • Risk of Overlooked Details: There’s a risk of missing critical legal details that could impact the outcome of the divorce or future entitlements.
  • Emotional Stress: Managing the legal process on top of the emotional stress of divorce can be overwhelming for some individuals.
  • Could be more expensive in the long run: While you may save on legal fees, you could enter into an arrangement that is not equal or fair, or you may end up being unable to agree and this could result in mediation and divorce proceedings in court that could potentially have been avoided.

What is the best way to get through a divorce?

The best way to navigate a divorce varies by individual circumstances. However, obtaining at least initial legal advice can provide clarity on your rights and obligations.

For many, engaging in mediation to resolve disputes or using a lawyer for specific parts of the process can offer a balanced approach between managing costs and ensuring legal protection.

It’s important to note that if you seek legal advice from a family divorce lawyer doesn’t mean that you have to continue to work with them throughout the divorce process. You can simply get initial advice to understand everything that needs to be considered.

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How we can help

While it’s possible to undertake a divorce without legal representation, seeking legal advice can make a significant difference in understanding the process and protecting your interests. At Clarity Lawyers, we support individuals across Australia navigating divorce. From providing initial advice to representing clients in more complex disputes, our approachable team is here to assist you in making informed decisions during this challenging time.

For those considering divorce, whether with or without a lawyer, we’re here to offer guidance and support. Reach out to our family law team for professional and empathetic legal services tailored to your unique situation, ensuring you move forward with confidence and clarity.

We’re based in Newcastle and Maitland but we’re available to help people Australia-wide. Call us on (02) 4023 5553 or book a consultation online here.

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Rli Samantha@2x
Samantha Miller

Samantha has been a lawyer since 2001 having followed in the steps of her father, grandfather, great-grandfather and great-great-grandfather. No one can say she didn’t know what she was getting into!

Initially admitted in 2001 as a solicitor in NSW and Australia, Samantha moved to the UK where she was admitted as a solicitor in England and Wales in 2002. After working in several different areas of the law in large London firms, she determined that family law was her calling and hasn’t looked back.


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