Applying For Divorce in Australia
Before you apply for a Divorce, you must ensure you are eligible to apply for a Divorce in Australia. The eligibility requirements are as follows:
- You (or the other party to the marriage) must be able to answer YES to at least one of the following:
- Were born in Australia or have become an Australian citizen by descent.
- Are an Australian citizen by grant of Australian citizenship (a citizenship certificate will be required).
- Are lawfully present in Australia and intend to continue living in Australia. You must have been living in Australia for at least the last 12 months before filing your Application for a Divorce.
- Your marriage has broken down and there is no reasonable likelihood that you will get back together;
- You have been separated for more than 12 months and 1 day; and
- You have a marriage certificate (note: if you do not have your marriage certificate, you must obtain a copy from Birth, Death and Marriage in the state or territory in which you were married).
If you have been married for less than two (2) years (calculated from the date of the marriage to the date of applying to the Court for a divorce), an additional requirement applies, and you need to attend counselling with a family counsellor or nominated counsellor to discuss the possibility of reconciliation with your spouse and thereafter file a counselling certificate with the Court at the time of applying for a Divorce.
If you are able to satisfy the above requirements, you are eligible to apply for a divorce in Australia.
When applying for a divorce, you can either do this on your own (sole Application) or together with the other party (joint Application).
If you make a sole Application, you are required to sign the Application and serve it to the other party. If there are no children of the marriage, you are not required to attend Court for the hearing of the Application. If there are children of the marriage under the age of 18 years, you are required to attend Court.
If you make a joint Application, you are not required to serve it on the other party (as you have both signed the Application) and you are not required to attend court (regardless of whether there are children of the marriage under the age of 18 years) unless you select to attend.
Where there are children of the marriage who are under 18 years of age, it is important that you provide particulars of the children’s care arrangements, including living and spend time arrangements, schooling, health, and financial support for the children so that the Court can be satisfied that appropriate arrangements have been made of the children prior to granting the Divorce.
The Application is filed in the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia and a fee of $940 is payable or you may be eligible for a reduced fee of $310.
Once the divorce is granted it will be finalised one month and one day later unless a special order is made by the Court to shorten that time.
For further information, including what happens if you were married overseas or are living overseas, or have changed your name from your married or maiden name, please contact Cornerstone Law Offices.