Divorce Law

Divorce Solicitors in Newcastle, Port Macquarie, Maitland & the Central Coast

Most people are aware they must be separated for a minimum period of twelve (12) months before they may file an application for divorce.

Many people do not realise that an application for divorce is simply just that. The application has nothing to do with property settlement and/or parenting arrangements for their children.


Issues regarding property and parenting are separate to an application for divorce. However, they are related to each other in the following manner:-

  1. If there are children of the marriage (or either of the parties or a child treated by the parties as a family member) under the age of 18 years at the time the divorce application is filed, the Court when dealing with the divorce application must be satisfied proper arrangements have been made for their care and welfare. This does not mean there has to be Court orders or a Parenting Plan for the children. Informal voluntary arrangements between parents are just as much recognised by the Court when determining an application for divorce;
  2. If a party obtains a divorce before they have resolved property and/or spousal maintenance issues, then any application regarding property settlement (and spousal maintenance) must be filed within twelve (12) months of the date of the divorce order. This twelve (12) month limitation period also applies to applications for the Court to make consent orders in financial matters. If a party wishes to bring an application for property settlement (and/or for spousal maintenance) after the limitation period has expired, they must first obtain the leave of the Court to do so. Leave is not automatically granted.