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Do I need a lawyer to get divorced or separated?

It is possible to ‘do it yourself’ and the Family Court of Australia website has information about how to do this.

However, when applying for orders from the court, you do need to have independent legal advice to certify the fairness of the agreement.

The Separation Guide believes it is very important for you to understand your legal rights. Which is why we work with independent legal advisors and Mediators who are also legally qualified.

If your separation is amicable and on good terms, then you and your partner could engage a qualified professional together to guide the separation directly.

The Separation Guide provides this. This process is called guided separation. Independent certification of the fairness of any proposed agreement would then be sought and provided at a later stage.

If not and the separation is on difficult terms then both parties having their own legal representation right from the start is advisable. To account for this there are independent lawyers in The Separation Guide Network.

To assist in negotiations then both parties can contact a mediator through The Separation Guide to assist, noting that there is compulsory dispute resolution required before applications for parenting orders can be sought from the court.


To decide what is the best path for your circumstances use the interactive Q&A to make the right choices for you.

Start the Q&A


Related infographic

How much does it cost to separate

Related downloads

Consent Order Kit from the Family Court