Family Law



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Compassionate, expert advice

The breakdown of a marriage is an extremely difficult time for all involved. It is a highly emotional time, yet there are many practical and legal considerations and arrangements to be made.

Burbank & Brown in Nowra can provide compassionate and realistic expert advice, and specialist legal representation throughout the divorce process to alleviate your stress and ensure your divorce application gets over the line the first time.

Are you eligible for a divorce?

In Australia, a divorce application can be made only if your marriage has broken down irretrievably. You and your former spouse must have been separated, that is having lived separately and apart, for a continuous period of not less than 12 months before making the application. You can, under Australian law, have lived separately and apart while remaining under the one roof, and still be eligible for a divorce.

In addition, if there are children aged under 18, a court can only grant a divorce if it is satisfied that proper arrangements have been made for them.

The divorce process

We estimate the whole divorce process generally takes about 5 months and involves:

  1. The completion and lodgement of a divorce application to the Federal Circuit Court of Australia which is then sworn and filed with the Court.
  2. An application hearing where the court will determine whether a couple has met the requirements for a divorce.
  3. Granting of a divorce order by the Court which will take effect 31 days after the date the divorce order was made.

Parenting arrangements

As divorce will only be granted in Australia once suitable care arrangements have been made for any children of the marriage, parties considering divorce must be aware of the different provisions regarding parenting arrangements, such as parenting plans, consent orders and parenting orders.

Read more about parenting arrangements and agreements, why reaching an agreement between both parties is essential, and the steps that need to be taken if an agreement cannot be reached.

Property settlements and divorce

Married couples have one year from the date of divorce to begin property settlement proceedings. In contrast, de facto couples have two years from the end of their relationship to commence proceedings.

It’s important to note that the court’s discretion is broad when it comes to making orders. Read more about property settlements, and how orders are determined by the courts.

How we help

Burbank & Brown will assist you through your divorce by:

  • Taking your instructions to complete the application to include all jurisdictional requirements
  • Preparing all necessary court paperwork
  • Filing your application with the Federal Circuit Court of Australia
  • Dealing with and serving the other party if your application is not a joint application
  • Appearing at the Divorce Hearing.


Burbank & Brown provide a fixed fee for all divorce applications. See What to Expect for more information about our fees.

Ready to make an appointment?

At Burbank & Brown, we’re committed to helping our clients through the difficult and often emotional divorce process. As a team of divorce lawyers in Shoalhaven, we’ll be with you through each stage of the process, ensuring you receive the best possible outcome for your unique circumstances.

If you have any questions about divorce in NSW, or if you’d like to book an appointment with one of our expert divorce lawyers, call or email our office, or simply book online now.

Divorce FAQs

In Australia, the party filing for divorce pays the application filing fee, which is currently $990, or $330 if you’re eligible for a reduced fee. The person filing for divorce also needs to factor in their lawyer’s fees and the cost to serve the other party using a process server with the divorce application.

There is generally no cost for the party being served with the application unless they oppose the application or wish to file a different court order. Joint divorce applications allow both parties to split the fee.

A divorce lawyer assists their client through the process of divorce by:

  • Preparing the application for divorce
  • Preparing and filing all required court paperwork
  • Serving the other party with the divorce application
  • Organising the property settlement and parenting agreements
  • Drafting spousal maintenance or financial agreements
  • Attending the divorce hearing

The cost of a divorce lawyer in Australia can differ from case to case. It will also depend largely on whether the lawyer is helping with your parenting arrangements or property settlement.

At Burbank & Brown, we offer a fixed fee for all divorce applications. If you’d like further information on the cost of divorce in NSW, take a look at our professional fees or simply get in touch with one of our expert divorce lawyers in Nowra today.


Wills & Estates

As experts in wills, estates and family law, we will enable you to create a comprehensive estate plan to achieve your goals.


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We can represent you in all criminal and traffic matters, ADVOs, assault charges and drug related matters in Court.

Melissa Vine, Burbank and Brown