Steps To Take Once A Relationship Has Broken Down

Nobody enters a marriage or relationship wanting it to end – but sometimes this can happen, and we understand that this can be a very difficult process to experience both emotionally and physically. So, to make your life easier, we have set out below a clear guide on the steps to take if your relationship breaks down and you are unsure of how to proceed.

Australian System

Australia operates under “no-fault” divorce. This means that the ground for a divorce is established by living separately and apart for a period of at least twelve months. To apply for a divorce, you would need to file an application with the Federal Circuit Court or the Family Court of Australia, providing you meet the requirements listed below.

Valid Marriage

You must prove that your marriage was valid to begin with to file for a divorce. For this you need your marriage certificate from the state or territory in which you were married.


The Court must have the jurisdiction to grant the divorce. This means that either you or your partner or both must answer yes to being at least one of the following;

Residing lawfully in Australia and intend to continue living in Australia; or

Is an Australian citizen; or

Is a legal resident of Australia; or

Has lived in Australia for a continuous period of 12 months prior to filing for divorce

Breakdown of marriage

Your marriage must have broken down with no reasonable likelihood that you will get back together. You should also be prepared to provide evidence of what was said or done on the date of separation to show that there was an intention to end the marriage.


It would usually be worthwhile to have marriage counselling to try to save the marriage before embarking on the above steps. If you have been married for less than 2 years counselling is essential before you can file for divorce.

De Facto Relationship

Naturally if you are unmarried and your de facto relationship has broken down, divorce will not be relevant. However, if you have parenting issues or wish to have a property settlement the Federal Circuit Court will have jurisdiction to deal with these issues, as if you were married.

How can E Berman & Co Solicitors help me?

E Berman & Co Solicitors is a Chatswood law firm that has been providing quality legal services to the public since 1984. Contact our office at 9412 2493 – we’re more than happy to have a quick chat!

Contact Errol on 9412 2493
E-mail: errrol@ebandco.com.au