When can I divorce?

Jul 23 2020

We don’t have an instant divorce system in Australia and before lodging and being granted a final divorce, there are a number of requirements that need to be met. The divorce process is the same across all States and Territories of Australia and in our experience, takes 3-4 months from start to end. It is also important to note that a divorce (ending a marriage) and a property settlement are two completely different things. In this article, we focus on just the divorce.

You can put together your own divorce application however we strongly advise getting legal advice, especially if you have children under 18 or joint property with your Spouse. A divorce application done wrong slows down the process by months and costs you more money and time in the long run whilst delaying your divorce.

What is a no-fault divorce?

Australia has a no-fault divorce system, meaning the reason for your divorce is not relevant. The only relevant factor is that your marriage has “irretrievably broken down”. A Court considers this irretrievable breakdown requirement fulfilled if you have been separated from your Spouse for at least 12 months and are not likely to get back together. If you have been married to your partner for less than two years, you will need to attend counselling with your partner and provide a counselling certificate before making your divorce application.

You must also be an Australian citizen, a permanent resident or have been living in Australia for at least 12 months before you apply for the divorce. Living under the same roof as your Spouse whilst separated is acceptable and quite common in Sydney given growing house prices. However, in your divorce application, you will need further evidence that you were actually separated whilst living under the same roof.

What if I was married overseas?

Another key requirement for an Australian divorce application is if you were married overseas – a certified copy of that marriage certificate must be included with your application to prove the marriage took place. If that marriage certificate is not in English, it needs to be translated by a certified translator.

Once your divorce application has been processed and your certificate granted/received, you are not considered officially divorced for another month so don’t get married straight away – it may be considered bigamy.

Do you need help with your divorce application or need to discuss a confidential family law matter? With 30+ years experience and after-hours availability to suit your busy schedule – contact us today on 02 8052 3322 or info@masperolegal.com.au

Last updated on June 18th, 2019 – Written by Jeremy Maspero.

Jeremy Maspero is a family law lawyer with a diverse range of experience and skills. With the experience you need and results you want, contact Jeremy today for a consultation to understand how he can help you on 02 8052 3322 or jeremy@masperolegal.com.au.