Family Court of Western Australia

Applying for divorce on your own or with your partner

You can apply for a divorce by yourself (a sole application) or together with your spouse (a joint application).

The spouse making a sole application is known as the applicant. The other spouse is known as the respondent. For a joint application, the parties are joint applicants.

This page explains how to apply in both ways, and the difference your choice makes to the divorce process.

Impact on the divorce process

The divorce process changes depending on whether you make a sole or joint application.

If you make a joint application, your application will go straight to the decision stage, as you do not need to serve the documents or wait for your partner to file a response. It will also mean you will not usually be required to attend court, as the decision can be made based on the paperwork.

If it’s a sole application, you will have to serve the application and your spouse will have an opportunity to respond to the application. Being required to attend court depends on whether there are children of the marriage under 18 years old - see the Divorce Cases page under Using the Court for more information).

Making a sole application

If you are completing the application on your own, you need to answer all the questions that relate to you and your spouse. If you do not know the answer and have made all attempts to find the answer, insert ‘not known’. If you do not answer all the questions, your divorce application may not be accepted by the Court and may be sent back to you.

Making a joint application

If you are making a joint application, you will need to answer all of the questions. There are a number of ways this can be done:

  • you and your spouse can sit down together and fill in the application, or
  • one spouse may fill in the entire application and have the other spouse check it, or
  • one spouse may answer most of the application, leaving aside the questions directly relating to the other spouse, and have the other spouse answer the questions relating to them.

Once you have completed the application, you and your spouse will both have to sign the affidavit of eFiling before an authorised witness. This can be done separately.

Last updated: 16-Apr-2018

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