Ending a marriage in Australia involves the legal process of dissolution, achieved through an application to the Federal Circuit Court of Australia. While divorce solely addresses the formal end of the marriage, it doesn’t handle related matters like finances, property division, or child arrangements. These require separate agreements or court orders.
Grounds for Divorce:
Australia’s “no-fault divorce” system means the only requirement is a 12-month separation with no realistic chance of reconciliation.
Who Can Apply:
- Australian citizens (by birth or grant)
- Individuals living in Australia with permanent residency intentions
If married overseas, meeting the above and providing a translated marriage certificate allows you to apply in Australia.
For marriages under 2 years, counseling and a counseling certificate are mandatory (unless an affidavit explains their absence) before filing.
Interestingly, you and your spouse can physically share a residence during the 12-month separation period. However, you must demonstrate emotional and financial independence through a sworn statement (affidavit) filed with the divorce application.
Mutual Agreement Not Required:
Just one spouse can initiate the divorce process, informing the other of their decision.
- No children under 18: Neither spouse needs to attend the court hearing.
- Both spouses file jointly: No court appearance required, even with children under 18.
- Sole application with children under 18: Court attendance is mandatory for the applicant.
Who is considered a “child of the marriage”:
- Biological children of both spouses
- Adopted children
- Foster children living with the couple during the marriage
Seek Professional Guidance:
Divorce can become complex with additional factors involved. If you are planning to divorce, speak to our Newcastle divorce lawyers on 02 4058 5844 or email us to arrange a free first consultation with one of our expert family lawyers today. We can provide expert advice and ensure your rights and interests are protected throughout the process.