What does Divorce mean?
Divorce is the ending of a marriage, in Australia, we have a no-fault system which means that no person is at fault for the relationship ending.
To obtain a divorce, you and your spouse need to consider the marriage irretrievably broken down and it is not likely you will re-commence your relationship. You must also be separated for over 12 months before applying for a divorce.
It is possible to obtain a Divorce if you live under one roof but live separate lives. It is even possible if you get back together for a cumulative period of 3 months without the need to re-start the 12-month separation period. However, if these circumstances arise, the court will need more information from the parties to ensure they can grant the divorce.
Applying for Divorce
To apply for a divorce you must ensure you meet the eligibility criteria which requires either you or your spouse to:
- Regard Australia as your home and intend to live in Australia indefinitely
- Are an Australian citizen by birth, descent, or by the grant of Australian citizenship
- Ordinarily live in Australia and have done so for 12 months before filing for divorce.
The application will be made to the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia via the Commonwealth Courts portal.
You can make an application on your own or jointly with your spouse. After the application has been finalised, it must be served on the other party (if you are making a sole application).
Hiring a Divorce Lawyer in Melbourne
At the Family Lawyer, our Divorce Lawyer can deal with this process for you. We can provide you with comprehensive advice and assistance regarding your divorce to ensure your application will be accepted and granted.
We aim to take the stress out of the process and finalise your divorce quickly and efficiently.
What can go wrong
We take the time to discuss your situation and assess the risk factors or matters that need to be clearly presented to the court to ensure your application is not requisitioned. For example, if there are children under the age of 18, the court requires extra information to be provided in an appropriate form to show them the children will be cared for.
Understand the child custody arrangements.
Divorce, Property, Children, or Maintenance Matters
Divorce is purely the ending of a marriage, decisions around property, parenting or maintenance are a separate process which requires you to make an agreement between you and your spouse or seek orders from the court.
You can apply for a divorce after you finalise arrangements for property, parenting, or maintenance. Alternatively, you can obtain a divorce first and then deal with property, parenting, or maintenance matters. However, an application must be made within 12 months of the date on the divorce order. If this is not done within 12 months, you will have to apply for leave of the court. There is no guarantee this will be approved, and you may lose the opportunity to have property, parenting, or maintenance issues resolved.