You can divorce after being separated for 12 months.
However, you DON’T have to wait to do your property settlement.
Divorce is the official ending of a marriage. It does not deal with financial matters or parenting arrangements, it simply recognises that a marriage has ended. You are required to obtain a divorce order before you can remarry.
To successfully apply for a divorce order, you only need to satisfy the Court that your marriage has broken down irretrievably and there is no likelihood that you and your former spouse will reconcile. The reason for the breakdown of the marriage is not relevant as we have a no-fault divorce system in Australia.
To apply for a divorce order in Australia, you need to either be an Australian Citizen, or regard Australia as your home where you intend to live indefinitely, or be living in Australia at the time the application for divorce is filed and the preceding 12 months. You and your former spouse must also be separated for 12 months and one day before the divorce application is filed.
You can be separated while living at the same residence, however, you will need to satisfy the Court that separation has occurred by preparing a supporting affidavit. In some cases, you may also be called upon to provide affidavit evidence from a third party who is also aware of the separation.
If you have been married for less than two years and you wish to file an application for divorce, you will be required to attend counselling and obtain a counselling certificate which must be filed with your application.
While the divorce application will not determine parenting arrangements, if you have children under the age of 18, a Court can only grant a divorce if it is satisfied that proper arrangements have been made for them.
You can file an application for divorce either on your own or jointly with your former spouse. If you file an application on your own, your application will need to be served on your former spouse and he or she will be given the opportunity to respond to your application. Even if your former spouse does not want to get divorced, a divorce order will be made if all the requirements have been met.
You do not always have to attend at the hearing of your divorce application. Your attendance will be required only if you file a sole application and you have children under the age of 18, or your former spouse files a response opposing the divorce order being made.
There is a filing fee for divorce applications which is paid directly to the Court at the time of filing your application. In some cases, you may be eligible for a reduction of the filing fee if, for example, you hold certain government concession cards or are experiencing financial hardship.
Wiltshire Family Law can assist you with all your queries regarding your divorce. Contact us today and we can discuss with you our fixed fee options for the preparation of your application and supporting evidence.