Getting a divorce is an important step that allows two people whose marriage has irreconcilably broken down to move on with their lives. Fortunately, it is a relatively simple process when you have a dedicated divorce lawyer on your side.
There is only one ground for a divorce in Australia – that the marriage has broken down and there is no chance of reconciliation. This is established by both parties having:
- Separated on a final basis,
- Lived ‘separately and apart’ (even if it’s under the same roof) for a period of twelve months before the Application for Divorce is filed, and
- Been married for at least two years before filing an Application for Divorce.
If you have been married for less than two years, you may file an Application for Divorce if:
- You have obtained a counselling certificate from a family counsellor indicating that you have discussed any chance of reconciliation, or
- There are extenuating circumstances, such as domestic violence.
An Application for Divorce can be made in one of two ways:
If you make a sole application, the sealed Application for Divorce is to be served on the other party.
If there are children of the marriage under the age of 18, you will be required, as the sole applicant, to attend a divorce hearing and satisfy the Court that suitable arrangements for the care of the children have been made. If there are no children under the age of 18 involved, neither party is required to attend Court.
If a joint application is made, there is no requirement for either party to attend Court for the divorce hearing.