Divorce

Divorce

Getting divorced in Australia is a relatively straight forward process. You can make your own divorce application in the Federal Circuit Court of Australia.  For some, dealing with the paperwork can be confusing and cumbersome. For others, their affairs are complicated and require legal assistance. Whichever way – we’re here to help.

In Australia, divorce operates on a no-fault basis. This means that the Court will not take into account the reasons why your marriage broke down.

There is only one ground for divorce. That is, there has been an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. You must have been married for at least two years and separated for 12 months or more.

The majority of divorce applications, progress without difficulty, but there are occasions when legal assistance is necessary. We recommend that legal advice is sought in the following circumstances:

  • Where you are unable to locate your spouse
  • Where your spouse may avoid service of divorce papers.
  • Where the arrangements for any children are inadequate
  • Where there is a dispute as to the date of separation
  • If you have lived, have personal or financial assets in another county. In such circumstances, you may have a choice of where to divorce. It’s essential to seek urgent legal advice, before filing an application for divorce because your choice of jurisdiction could have significant implications for your property settlement.

In most instances, we can offer you a fixed fee divorce. To qualify for our fixed fee service, the following criteria applies:

  • You have been married for 2 years or more.
  • You can provide a marriage certificate in English.
  • You have separated from your spouse.
  • You and your spouse consent to the divorce.
  • You have lived separately and apart for at least 12 months.
  • Proper arrangements have been made for all children under age 18.
  • You and your spouse are Australian citizens, permanent residents and consider Australia to be your permanent residence.
  • You and your spouse have an Australian address.

If you are unable to satisfy the above – don’t worry, we can still help.

To find out more, call or book for your free 15-minute consultation without obligation.

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Yes, if either you or your spouse:

  • Regard Australia as your home and intend to live in Australia indefinitely
  • Are an Australian citizen by birth, descent or a by a grant of Australian citizenship
  • Ordinarily live in Australia and have done so for the last 12 months immediately before filing for divorce.
  • You must have been married for at least 2 years. Note there are special requirements if this condition is not met.
  • Your marriage must have broken down irretrievably.
  • You must have been separated for at least 12 months.
  • There must be no reasonable likelihood of cohabitation being resumed.

Yes.

  • Separation under the one roof can occur even though you and your spouse continue to live in the same house and provide household services to the other.
  • Where this occurs, theCourtCourtt will require additional evidence to confirm that separation has actually happened.
If you resume cohabitation, but after less than three months you separate again, the period before resuming cohabitation and the period after the separation can be added to make the minimum 12 months of separation.

If you resume cohabitation, but after more than 3 months you separate again, you will need to separate for a further 12 months before you can apply for a divorce.

You must file an application for a divorce in the Federal Circuit Court of Australia online. There are two ways in which you can bring an application for divorce:

  • Sole Application made by you or your spouse or a
  • Joint Application made by you both. A joint application is a simple, quickest and most cost-effective way to obtain a divorce.

Yes.

  • Your spouse can oppose the divorce by filing a Response. There are limited grounds to oppose. One of the main reasons given includes a dispute over the 12 months of separation, claimed by you.
  • Marriage Certificate in English
  • Documents in support of an Application for a filing fee waiver or exemption if appropriate
  • Any Parenting Plan, Parenting Order, Property Order, Domestic Violence Order, Child Support Agreement or Binding Financial Agreement
  • For overseas marriages, you may require:
    • An English translation of an overseas marriage certificate with an Affidavit of translation from a qualified Translator
    • Proof of Australian Residency or Citizenship
    • Copy of your passport
If you have made a joint application for divorce, and there are children under the age of 18 years old, you do not need to attend. You will need to attend if you have made a sole application.
The Divorce Order takes effect one month and one day after the date on which the Divorce Order is made.

No.

  • A Divorce Order simply dissolves your marriage and doesn’t deal with parenting or property settlement issues.
Yes.
  • An application for spousal maintenance and a property settlement must be made within 12 months of the date of the Divorce Order becomes final.