Where to Get Support If You’re an ADF Member Divorcee

Where to Get Support If You're an ADF Member Divorcee

When a marriage or de facto relationship ends, planning the financial arrangements for you and your children is essential. However, these issues can be challenging to deal with, along with emotional concerns after separation from your partner. 

Getting support is particularly important to get through the process of divorce. More specifically, when you are separating from an Australian Defence Force (ADF) member, finding the resources for assistance can be worrisome. 

If you are divorcing an ADF member, it is good to know that support from Defence will help you move out of being a Defence family. The process may be complicated if you are unfamiliar with ADF policy papers or your ex-partner or spouse has yet to share this information. 

If you are an ex-defence partner, divorce lawyers in Redland Bay with expertise in family separations can assist you in availing of the support available. 

Eligibility for the Benefits 

Following separation from an Australian Defence Force Member, support for partners is only available if you qualify as a dependent. If this is the case, your partner must follow the 

ADF pay and conditions and then notify the Defence regarding the separation. 

If your ex-spouse refuses, you can seek assistance from Defence Families of Australia, the Defence Member Family and Support (DMFS) Branch, or a Chaplain.

Defence Housing Australia (DHA) Service Residences Upon Divorce 

The ADF member must contact DHA after Defence has been advised of the divorce and the member has received the re-categorisation notification. The Department of Defence then allows you 28 days to vacate the premises. 

If you and your ex-spouse have children, the Defence member may request an extension if they want to spend time with their children. Senior management at Toll Transitions typically considers and approves this request.

Moving Expenses After the Separation 

Chapter 6.5 of the Defence Pay and Conditions Manual (PACMAN) discusses the support provided to a non-serving member following the separation. The section specifies the circumstances in which a spouse or partner will be entitled to relocation and related travel expenses. More information about partner support after a divorce may be found in Chapter 8.11.

Partner Support from Open Arms 

Veterans and their families can get free and private counselling through Open Arms. This covers children and ex-spouses of a serving member co-parenting or separated for less than five years. Open Arms provides a free 24-hour helpline, and you can reach out by dialling 1800 011 046.

Family Law Legal Advice & Support 

Separation, divorce, property settlement, child custody agreements, and domestic and family violence are among the subjects covered by family law. 

If you want further assistance as you go through the process of divorce, family lawyers in Redland Bay can represent you as a former spouse or partner of military veterans. 


Separation from an ADF member is a major life event, so it’s reasonable to feel uncertain as you navigate the divorce. However, the great news is that you can get support from Defence, federal agencies, and family lawyers to transition from being part of a military family. 
Bickell & Mackenzie is a family-owned law firm within the Redlands area. Our expert legal team specialises in Family Law disputes to support you in all aspects of the separation. Please feel free to contact us today for a consultation.

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