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Sole Divorce

Sole Divorce Applications Usually Require Serving the Divorce on Your Spouse

Sole Divorce Application Process

In addition to the usual rules and conditions for divorce which can be found on our Divorce page, this page discusses the specific requirements of a sole divorce application.  A sole divorce can often take longer than a joint divorce, however, it depends on the circumstances.

You can apply for a sole divorce or a joint divorce depending on your circumstances.  There are practical differences in the divorce process depending on whether you file a joint or sole application for divorce.  The primary difference with a sole divorce application is that the sole divorce application must be filed with the court first and then a copy given to your spouse.  From there, it will be up to your spouse if they wish to engage in the divorce process or oppose the application for divorce.

When Should You Complete a Sole Divorce Application?

It is best to complete a sole divorce application if:

  1. Your spouse does not agree to a divorce.

  2. You have lost track of your spouse's whereabouts.

  3. Your spouse opposes the divorce.

  4. You do not wish to have any interaction with your spouse.

Keep in mind if you prefer to avoid interacting with your spouse, our divorce lawyers can interact with them on your behalf to complete a joint divorce application.

Do I have to Notify My Spouse of My Address?

Whether you are completing a sole or joint divorce, you do not have to notify your spouse of your address if you have reason to keep this information private.  The primary reason to not provide a spouse with an address is due to family violence or stalking behaviour.

Requirements of a Sole Divorce

Unlike a joint divorce application, a sole divorce application has special rules where your spouse must be given a court stamped copy of the sole divorce application in person.  This process is called service and is usually performed by a process server.  If we carry out your divorce application for you, we have excellent process servers to carry out service across Australia.

Once the sole divorce application has been served on your spouse, he/she should notify the court with a form included with the sole divorce application, to confirm that he/she received the documents. If your spouse does not notify the court, it is important that a sworn or affirmed statement which is called an affidavit from the process server is filed with the court so the court knows your spouse has received the divorce application. Without confirmation that your spouse has received the sole divorce application, delays will occur as the court must be satisfied that your spouse has received a copy of the divorce.

What if I Cannot Locate My Spouse

If you cannot locate your spouse or if your spouse refuses to tell you where they are, we will need to show the court that you have undertaken reasonable steps to locate your spouse or it is not appropriate for you to locate them.  If after having taken reasonable steps to locate your spouse or if it is not appropriate to locate them, we can ask the court to either, allow service on your spouse by a special method such as email or to not require that the divorce application be served on your spouse.  Special rules apply to this process which our divorce lawyers know well.

To get your divorce started, contact our divorce lawyers for legal advice today.

There Are Two Types of Divorce Applications. Which Application is Right for You?


A divorce application can be either a sole filing or a joint filing of a divorce. Both options have different requirements and different procedural processes which you must know before applying.  Our divorce lawyers can assist you in making the best decision according to your circumstances.

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