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Divorce Rate in Australia
20 Sep 2022

Why Divorce Rate in Australia is So High?

By Family Lawyers Mackay, 20 Sep 2022

What is a marriage? 

Divorce causes a marriage to end legally. This is a bitter experience in anyone’s life. But before unraveling the facts of divorce let’s get to know about marriage first. Marriage is the union of two people by which they recognise their life together and have a happy sexual life.

But in legal terms, marriage is a contract between two people enforced by law. It is a social event that forms a family but there are legal consequences too. Starting from raising the children to protecting the family residence, inheriting from the other partner can be the legal consequence. 

What is a divorce legally?

When one of the partners decides not to live together anymore feeling uncomfortable with the marriage, he or she can demand a divorce. But divorce is a legal term too. Divorce entails canceling all the legal responsibilities, hence dissolving the contract between a couple. 

No-fault divorce;1975

The divorce rate was very high in Australia before 1975. According to the Australian Institute of Family Studies, The rate reached its peak in the 1970s at 4.6 per 1,000 residents. This rate was very alarming and had to be reduced. That’s why the Government of Australia, established new law in 1975. The Family Law Act 1975 established the principle of no-fault divorce. It also established a federal court to deal with family law issues. The Family Court of Australia quotes,” No-fault divorce means that a court does not consider which partner was at fault in the marriage breakdown. The only ground for divorce is the irretrievable breakdown of the relationship, demonstrated by 12 months of separation.” This means the couple has to be separated for at least 12 months before applying for a divorce.

How to prove separation if the couple lives together?

The couple needs to stay separate for at least 12 months before filing for divorce. But they can still live under the same roof. For that, they have to break the marital relationship completely which may include:

  • no sexual activity
  • living in different rooms 
  • not having meals together 
  • having separate bank accounts
  • not sharing household services 
  • not representing themselves as married to acquaintances

Now let’s discuss the details of the divorce rate in Australia.

What is the divorce rate in Australia?

In the 1960s and the 1970s, the divorce rate was very high. It was about 4.6 persons per 1000 residents. But it declined when the Family Law Act 1975 was passed. This law supported no-fault divorce. And reduced to just 1.9 till 2016. But it raised again in 2017 up to 2.0. Hence the divorce percentage in Australia has reduced.


By consulting one of our accredited family law mackay specialists.

Another reason for the decline of the divorce rate in Australia is late marriage or marriage between same-sex. Same-sex marriage is now legal in Australia. In the first 6 months of 2018, 99 percent of marriages were between same-sex.

The divorce rate was 40% which has been constant for many years. But due to the corona pandemic, it has been a rush to the courts since this summer. But new statistics show, that in 2019 the divorce rate has been highly increasing and reached around 47%. And Brisbane has registered 30% more divorces already by the summer of 2020.

From these studies, it is clear that a pandemic affects marriages severely. 

Duration of marriage:

The largest proportion of couples separating and then divorcing are those who have been married 9 years or less, which is about 43%. 

Couples who had been married for 20 years or more are highly encouraged in separation. In 1990 it was 20% and by 2010 it increased to 28%.  

At what age couples are divorcing?

In 2016, the divorce rate was highest during the age 25-29 for both men and women. The couples have a steady relationship in their 40s. After 55, the couples become less likely to divorce.

Divorces involving children: 

The amount of divorces involving children under 18 years has been decreasing. In 1975, the proportion of divorces involving children under 18 years was 67.6%. It decreased over time and became 47.1% in 2017. The reason behind this is the rise of divorces in short-term marriages. 

Have same-sex marriages affected the divorce rate in Australia?

After the changes in Marriage Act 1961 same-sex marriage is now legal. There were 3,149 same-sex weddings were registered in Australia till 30th June 2018. And they can also get divorced but not many divorces are reported from these couples.

What are the reasons behind divorces? 

People go into a marriage with so much hope. They decide to get married when they discover themselves in a comfortable relationship. It indicates the perfect bond between two persons. So, what causes that perfect bond to break apart? Why do they go for a divorce?


By consulting one of our accredited family law mackay specialists.

The Australian Divorce Transition Project categorised the reasons behind divorce into 3 dimensions. They are ‘affective issues’, ‘abusive reasons’ and ‘external pressures’.

An Australian study reported percent of divorces blame “affective issues”. These affective issues are:

  • Problems of communication 27%
  • Lost connection 21%
  • Trust issues 20%

The other causes of divorce in Australia can be:

  • Abuse either physically or emotionally 7.4%
  • Abuse via drugs or alcohol 7.4%
  • Financial issues 4.7%
  • Work pressure 2.7%
  • Interference of family 0.6%
  • Health issues 4.7%

Tips for a long-term marriage

  • Treat marriage as a long-term commitment
  • Prioritize your partner’s need 
  • Respect your partner
  • There should be no trust issues
  • Maintain a happy sexual relationship
  • Cooperate with your partner
  • Be willing to change
  • Maintain equity 
  • Manage time for each other 
  • Support the decision made by your spouse
  • Avoid fighting unnecessarily

Everything about divorce:


By consulting one of our accredited family law mackay specialists.

How long will it take to finalise the divorce?

Normally it takes 4 months to procure a Divorce Certificate or court order. It may take longer if there are other difficulties. Remarriage should not be planned before the divorce is finalised. 

Grounds to file for a divorce: 

  • prove that the couple has been separated for no less than 12 months of period. 
  • the couple has been married for more than 2 years.
  • attended the required counselling with the family court if married for less than 2 years. 
  • no fault of any of the spouses is needed. 
  • at least one spouse must be an Australian citizen, domiciled, or resident in Australia for 12 months. 

What is the procedure to get a divorce?

Getting a divorce is not the same anymore. That is the reason that the divorce rates in Australia have reduced. If you are thinking to get a divorce in Mackay then Family Lawyers Mackay can help you easily. Read the points below to get an idea about getting a divorce.

  • Live separate lives: Before applying for a job you must separate for at least 12 months. You can get back in touch without re-starting the 12 months for about 3 months. For instance, if you have lived separated for 4 months and again got together for 3 months you will only have to live 8 months separately to complete the 12 months.
  • You can live separately under one roof: You can share the same roof even when you are separated. The court will check if you are having sex, sharing meals, or sharing bank accounts. Your relatives should believe that you are separated.
  • Remarrying: Don’t think to remarry until the divorce is finalized. Don’t make quick plans. You can get married once the divorce is granted.
  • Property and children’s arrangement: The divorce will not resolve the property or children’s issues. You will have to file a separate case for this issue.
  • Married for less time: If you are married for a small time and still demanding a divorce. Then you should visit the family counselling. Get a certificate from them and submit it to the court.

When applying for the divorce, do I have to attend the court hearing?

It depends on some conditions. You may or may not have to attend the court hearing. Let’s have a look at them:

  •   If you don’t have any children under 18 years. Then you will not have to attend the court hearing; it applies to both sides.
  •   If a joint application is applied then you will not have to attend the court hearing, even if you have children under 18 years.
  •   If a sole application is applied then you may have to attend the court hearing on having a child under 18 years.

How much will a divorce cost in Mackay?

The typical cost of a divorce consists of legal costs and court fees. The amount of both fees is based on the procedural value, which depends on the income and assets of the spouses. A general figure is therefore not possible. 

However, it costs $890 for every hearing. Usually, each spouse pays their own lawyer’s costs plus half the court fees. In this case, the 50% sharing of the legal fees should be contractually agreed in advance utilising a cost-sharing agreement between the spouses.

If this is the case, each spouse only pays half of the costs otherwise incurred. If you want to get a divorce from Mackay, you shouldn’t be afraid of the divorce costs. If the financial means are not sufficient for a divorce Qld, the court and legal expenses will be covered by the state – and the chances of this are good.

How can Family Lawyers Mackay help?

Though Australia’s divorce rate has declined some issues can demand a divorce. We can help you in many ways to solve the issue. For more information on your specific matter, please don’t hesitate to contact one of our experienced Mackay Family lawyers at Family Lawyers Mackay.


By consulting one of our accredited family law mackay specialists.

You should take our counselling sessions before making such an important decision. The court may also ask you to take counselling sessions. These sessions play a vital role in making a decision.

We follow the collaborative practice which is an alternative to litigation.

Mediation is a good practice. In mediation, you and your partner discuss everything openly in the presence of a mediator. The mediator is neutral and points out the issue by hearing your discussion.

Expert Mackay divorce lawyer

If you are interested in the percentage of divorces in Australia because yours is going through difficult times, our recommendation is to seek advice as soon as possible. In this way, reliable and personalised information is available. In this way, many fears and uncertainties are avoided, and you will know what the costs are and the procedures that must be carried out.

Increasing divorce rate Australia Family Lawyers Mackay has offices in Mackay, Queensland, Australia. You have to call (07) 4847 0198 or send the following email to for divorce in Mackay. Our expert divorce attorneys will be happy to assess your case and offer you all the advice you need.

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