Officially launched last year by the Attorney-General, Robert McClelland, the Commonwealth Courts Portal provides registered users with access to secure web-based information about cases that are before the Federal Court, the Family Court and the Federal Magistrates Court.

When introduced in August 2008, Stage 1 of the project allowed family law practitioners to efile supplementary documents such as affidavits (documents that require no fee or require no staff involvement before being placed on the court file).

Stage 2 of the project has recently been implemented by the Family Law Courts (the Family Court and Federal Magistrates Court) which provides registered family law applicants with the option to efile divorce applications via the Commonwealth Courts Portal.

The Chief Executive Officer of the Family Law Courts Mr Richard Foster said, “the aim is to improve access to justice, particularly for self represented litigants who comprise 85% of divorce applicants.”
“It does not mean that people can get divorced online, this service simply provides people with an alternative way to file their applications, in addition to the traditional way by post or in person at a family law registry,” Mr Foster added.

By mid-2010, Stage 3 of the project is expected to be implemented which will allow initiating applications to be efiled.

Key points about efiling Applications for Divorce:

This service allows registered users to submit (efile) their application electronically

  • People cannot get divorced online — the normal process of having the matter assessed and decided by a judicial officer, and the normal legislative timeframes and requirements, are still maintained.
  • Since the service was introduced in September, over 400 applications for divorce have been efiled.
  • The service is provided through the website www.comcourts.gov.au
  • eFiled divorce applications proceed before the Federal Magistrates Court of Australia
  • For more information refer to the User Guide to efiling Divorce Applications in family law, at www.familylawcourts.gov.au 

Denise Healy
National Media and Public Affairs Manager
Family Court of Australia and Federal Circuit Court of Australia
Phone: 03 8600 4357 or 0409 743 695
Email: denise.healy@familycourt.gov.au