Book an Appointment


Divorce Legal Services

Divorce Lawyers in Brisbane – BWJ is here to help

In Australia, we have a no-fault divorce system which means the reason the marriage has ended is not considered relevant by the Court when granting a divorce. The only ground for divorce in Australia is an ‘irretrievable breakdown’ of the marriage. You may therefore be eligible to apply for divorce if your marriage has broken down with no chance of reconciliation.

A divorce can be obtained by applying to the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia. To apply for a divorce, you must be able to demonstrate that you have been separated from your ex-partner for at least 12 months. Depending on the circumstances of the marriage, other factors may also be relevant to your divorce application such as, the duration of the marriage, living arrangements post separation and country of marriage.  

A divorce application can be made by one party (a sole divorce application) or both parties (a joint divorce application) and can be filed yourself without engaging a divorce lawyer.

To prevent the risk of issues arising, it is recommended you seek advice from an experienced divorce lawyer before proceeding with the application.

BWJ Law is here to provide pragmatic advice at a reasonable cost to help you feel confident and well informed about navigating your family law matter.

Frequently Asked Questions

For practical and financial reasons, some parties to a marriage may remain living together following the date of separation. If you have lived under the same roof as your ex during the 12 months prior to filing your divorce application, then you will also need to submit  an affidavit setting out the circumstances of the living arrangements and evidence to show that the parties have separated.  This can be costly and for that reason, many people prefer to delay making their Application for Divorce until they have been living separately for a full 12 months.

If you have been married less than two years, you will need to include a counselling certificate with your divorce application, noting that the prescribed 12-month separation period remains a prerequisite for making an application for divorce. The two-year period starts from the date of marriage to the date of filing the divorce application with the Court.

In circumstances where attending counselling with your spouse is not possible or appropriate, you will need to seek the Court’s permission to apply for a divorce.

If you have been in a short marriage and are unsure if you need to obtain a counselling certificate, or have unique circumstances, our family law solicitors are able to provide clear and tailored legal advice.

If the foreign marriage is recognised in Australia and either you or your partner are an Australian citizen, permanent resident or have been living in Australia for at least 12 months, you can file a divorce application with supporting material in the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia. If you need advice on the material the Court requires to support your divorce application, please contact the BWJ Law team.

The welfare of children in family law matters is a paramount concern of the Court. Before granting a divorce, the Court must be satisfied that proper arrangements have been made for the care of the children. It is important to be aware however, the granting of a divorce does not determine or finalise parenting arrangements. If you have children under 18, the parenting arrangements for these children will need to be finalised prior to the hearing date of the divorce application. For more information about the process to make parenting arrangements for your children, please refer to the Childrens tab of our website.

The application for divorce does not extend to dealing with issues regarding finances, property distribution and spousal maintenance.

From the date the divorce order becomes effective, a time limitation period of 12-months will start to finalise property settlement and spousal maintenance matters.

Please refer to the Property Settlement tab on our website for more information.

Get in touch with a separation lawyer

If you need assistance to process your divorce, get in touch with our friendly team at BWJ Law.

Where to Find Us?

Lisa Lucas

Lisa Lucas

Legal Bookkeeping & Accounting

Meet Lisa, our seasoned professional who joined our team in August 2022, boasting an impressive background of over two decades in accounting. With a solid foundation in IT and a Bachelor of Science under her belt, Lisa’s journey evolved as she not only managed her own accounting firm but also earned postgraduate degrees in both accounting and commercial law.

In her pivotal role, Lisa is instrumental in maintaining the firm’s compliance and ensuring seamless operations. Her wealth of experience brings a wealth of knowledge to our team, contributing to our success and client satisfaction.

Beyond the numbers, Lisa finds balance in her life through activities like Pilates and walks with her beloved dogs. Her dedication, expertise, and passion make Lisa an invaluable asset to our team, driving us towards excellence in every aspect of our work.

Amy Hayslep

Amy Hayslep


Amy joined our team in December 2022 as a receptionist, where she plays a vital role in managing our firm’s administrative support and daily operations. 

Her commitment to excellence and efficiency has greatly contributed to the smooth running of our office. 

Amy is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Business with a focus on Marketing at the University of the Sunshine Coast, a testament to her dedication to professional growth and understanding of business dynamics. 

Amy’s aspiration to integrate her marketing insights into her current role demonstrates her forward-thinking approach and commitment to continuous improvement. Outside of work, Amy enjoys Pilates, baking, and gardening.

Jon Staby

Jon Staby


Jon was born in Windhoek, Namibia and moved with his family to Brisbane in 2005. Jon is currently studying his Bachelor of Laws and aims to complete it by the end of 2024. 

Jon has been currently working as a Paralegal since April 2023 and has a keen interest in all family law areas.  

Jon believes in the law to empathetically and expertly help clients to reach the best outcomes for their unique circumstances. 

In his free time, Jon’s hobbies include painting, playing basketball with friends, and watching television shows with his pet cat Luna.  

Serena May

Serena May

LLB (Hons) BBus

Serena was admitted to the profession in 2022 and holds a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and Bachelor of Business from QUT. 

Serena has previous experience as a Barrister’s Assistant in family law as well as working in a mid-tier commercial law firm in property law, wills and estates, employment law and construction disputes. This experience has provided her with the opportunity to learn from an array of senior legal practitioners before choosing to specialise in family law.

Serena is passionate about ensuring her clients feel well informed throughout their matter. Serena acknowledges every personal circumstance is unique and no other person knows exactly what it is like to walk in your shoes. 

Serena recognises that clients are often experiencing immense stress and require compassionate and efficient communication from start to finish to empower them to move on to the next chapter of their life.

On her weekends Serena enjoys heading to the coast for a surf and spending time with her poodle pup, Miss April May.

Michael Johnson

Michael Johnson

Practice Leader – Founder

Michael was awarded a Bachelor of Laws with Honours from QUT in 2012, and was admitted as a lawyer in 2013. 

He also has a Bachelor of Science from UQ which he was awarded in 2007 (before deciding that a career in law would be more interesting than science).

Michael has practiced exclusively in the areas of Family Law, Child Safety (Care and Protection), and Domestic Violence since mid-2014. 

Michael has experience as a Separate Representative for children in Child Safety cases and has appeared on behalf of hundreds of people in Family Law and Domestic Violence cases in Queensland and the ACT.

Michael’s experience means he has a particularly keen insight into how to best avoid Court and he has an excellent record of settling cases quickly and without unnecessary conflict and cost. 

That said, he also knows how to best prepare and conduct litigation if Court becomes unavoidable, and he will expertly guide you through even the most complex and delicate case.

Michael takes a genuine interest in his clients and will make sure that you are properly advised in a way that is easy to understand, without all the unnecessary jargon that so many lawyers love to use. You can trust Michael to be direct, flexible, and empathetic. 

When he is not at work, Michael loves being in the outdoors, whether that’s fishing from his kayak or working in the garden. He also loves to cook and experiment in the kitchen.

Matthew Watt

Matthew Watt

Practice Manager – Founder

As one of the founders of BWJ Law, Matt is an indispensable member of the executive team. 

He plays a pivotal role in the day-to-day operations of the firm, focusing on implementing operational strategies and realizing the organization’s vision. 

This ensures that all employees are equipped with the necessary resources to perform at their best, delivering unparalleled service to clients.

An active member of the Australasian Legal Practice Management Association (ALPMA) and an associate member of the QLD Law Society, Matt consistently stays updated with the latest in legal practice management. 

He recognizes the significance of continuous professional growth, ensuring that he offers the best support to legal practitioners. 

Moreover, he adeptly manages a diverse range of corporate and strategic responsibilities inherent to the role of a practice manager.