What is a Divorce?
In Australia, family law is based on a “no-fault” principle. This means that the only ground for divorce is an “irretrievable breakdown” of the marriage.
A divorce is the legal ending of a marriage. Even if you have been separated for years, your marital status can affect your legal rights. You also cannot remarry until you have obtained a divorce.
The granting of a divorce does not deal with your property settlement or parenting matters.
What are the Requirements to get a Divorce?
Before your divorce can be finalised there are some conditions that must be met.
- You are able to prove that you are in a legally valid marriage. A copy of your marriage certificate is sufficient.
- Either you or your partner is an Australian citizen.
- You have resided in Australia for 12 months.
- You and your partner have separated for 12 months.
How to get a Divorce
If you meet the above requirements then you will need to file an Application for Divorce in the Federal Circuit Court. You will need pay a filing fee to the registry (currently $865.00).
If you are a sole application then you will need to have the Application for Divorce served on your partner either personally or by post. You cannot serve your partner personally. Personal service must be through a process server or a third party.
If you are finding it difficult to serve the documents, the court, upon application, may order that service be undertaken by substituted service or they may order that service be dispensed with.
Do I have to attend the hearing?
If there are no children of the marriage aged under 18 years then you are not required to attend.
If you have made a sole application and there are children of the marriage aged under 18 years than the Applicant is required to attend the hearing.
If you have made a joint application and there are children of the marriage aged under 18 years than you are not required to attend.
Can my Divorce be opposed?
As stated earlier, Australia has a “no-fault” principle for family law matters. Only under exceptional circumstances can a Divorce be opposed, such as;
- You have not been separated for 12 months.
- The Court does not have jurisdiction to grant a Divorce.
- The court is not satisfied that the appropriate arrangements are in place for the welfare of the children.
You can oppose a Divorce by filing a Response to Divorce. If you chose to do this, you will be asked to present a valid reason as to why you think the Divorce should not be granted (for example: you haven’t been separated for 12 months).
How can we help?
Divorce can be a stressful and emotional time and we understand that. We are experienced in Divorce applications and we can handle your matter at ease.
Contact us today to arrange an initial consultation to discuss your Divorce Application.