If you are well prepared, Presenting your own case in court without having a lawyer there to assist you. in the Family An independent body that hears legal claims brought by parties and decides between them. Serious cases are heard by a judge and jury, or just a judge. Less-serious cases are heard by a magistrate. is possible for some matters.
Applying for a The legal ending of a marriage by court order. A marriage is legally divorced when a court issues a decree absolute where there has been an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. See also decree nisi.: Finding the information you need
Information is available from the court to help manage straightforward applications for dissolution of A voluntary, formal and legally binding agreement between two people to have a permanent relationship together. There must be a statement in front of official witnesses who register the marriage with the authorities. See also cohabitation; de facto; divorce; domestic relationship. (e.g. where the divorce application is not contested by the other A person or organisation directly involved in a court case. Parties include the plaintiff or applicant, the defendant, and any third party added to the action, but not independent witnesses. and no children are involved). The Family Court website (www.familycourt.gov.au) also hosts a resources page for self-represented litigants. Also see Chapter 4.1: Marriage and divorce.
Filing the divorce application
The Family Court provides an online e-filing option for couples or sole applicants seeking to apply for a divorce. You must pay a fee to lodge an application for a divorce, even if it is straightforward. The fees are listed on the Family Court’s website. Fee reductions are available in some circumstances.
It is strongly advised that you seek legal advice if the family law matter is complex (e.g. if there are disagreements about the care of the children or the division of property). When your relationship has broken down, it can be extremely difficult to deal with your ex-partner in a court setting, particularly if they have legal representation and you do not.
Community legal centres can provide free legal advice on family law matters, and some community legal centres provide regular workshops for the public on family law and divorce.
Also, you can get free advice by phoning VLA’s Legal Help phone line (1300 792 387), where you can receive one-off guidance and information, or be directed to see a VLA lawyer in your area.