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Ending a marriage, de facto relationship or civil partnership

You should always get legal help when you end a marriage, de facto relationship or civil partnership (previously called registered relationship)—especially when you have children and joint property.


The Federal Circuit Court of Australia looks after all divorces.

De facto relationships

To officially end your de facto relationship, you need to inform your ex-partner.

You do not have to:

  • apply to the Federal Circuit Court of Australia
  • fill in any forms
  • receive a separation certificate.


If your marriage or civil partnership breaks up and you have children, then you will want to make sure you and your ex-partner have organised appropriate care for your children.

Learn more about parenting arrangements and information about child support.

Money, property and possessions when your relationship ends

The court approaches dividing assets and debt the same way whether you are divorcing, ending your de facto relationship or civil partnership.

Read more about property and money after separation at the Australian Family Law Court website.

Transfer (stamp) duty will apply when land is transferred between spouses or de facto partners. An exemption may apply when the land is transferred to comply with a court order or agreement.

End a civil partnership

Your civil partnership (previously called registered relationship) ends if you or your partner passes away, marries or applies to the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages to end the partnership.

You and your ex-partner can apply individually or together to end the civil partnership.

Withdraw my application to end a civil partnership

You can withdraw your application within 90 days of lodging it.

Divorce and separation enquiries


Email .

By phone

Call 1300 352 000 (Monday–Friday, 8.30am–5.00pm).

Ending a civil partnership enquiries


Email , we reply to online enquiries within 2 business days.

By phone

Local call* 13 QGOV (13 74 68)
International +61 7 3405 0985 (+10 hours UTC)

(Phone lines open Monday–Friday, 8.30am–4.30pm)

*Costs may be higher from mobile phones and interstate.

Legal help or mediation information

If you need legal help or mediation, the following organisations can assist:

For more information on how to apply for divorce, visit:

Last updated
23 May 2017
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