Has your relationship broken down irretrievably? In Australia, this is the only reason you are required to provide in order to file for a divorce. If you’ve been separated for 12 months, this is considered by the Court as evidence of the breakdown of your relationship. Should you and your partner still be living under the same roof while separated for this period of time, you may still be able to obtain a divorce, provided that you disclose this and swear to your separation within your application.
What’s the difference between separation and divorce?
Separation is when you and your partner stop living together in a domestic or marriage-like relationship. There is actually no legal process to becoming separated but you are considered separated as long as the other party has been made aware that you believe that the relationship is over. The divorce signifies the official ending of a relationship. In order for a divorce to be granted you must satisfy the Court that you have been separated for a period of 12 months and there is no chance of the marriage reconciling.
What do I need to apply for a divorce?
You will need your marriage certificate, personal identification, and proof of citizenship (if you were not born in Australia).
If I get a divorce does that involve my property or children matters?
Getting a divorce or becoming separated does not automatically sort out your issues relating to children or property. These arrangements must be made separately either between the parties privately or through a separate court application. You do not have to be divorced in order to make these arrangements.
What affect will my children have on getting my divorce?
In order for the divorce to be granted, the Court must be satisfied that your children are adequately being taken care of. At the time of the divorce the Court will not expect that you have formal agreements in place relating to child custody.
What about property?
If you can communicate with your former partner and make private arrangements relating to the division of your assets, you will not be required to go to Court. Alternatively, if you are unable to reach an agreement and wish to make a formal application, property orders must be lodged with the Court within 12 months of your divorce becoming final.
How long does it take?
Once your application has been lodged you will be advised by the Court of your hearing date, this is generally within 2-3 months. The hearing does not take very long and you may not be required to attend for it to be granted. Your divorce becomes final in one month and one day from the date of it being granted, which usually occurs at your hearing.