Divorce in Australia – Know your rights!
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Divorce in Australia – Know your rights!

December 10, 2019


Divorce in Australia The No Fault Principal
Divorce in Australia follows the no fault principal, which was established by the Family
Law Act 1975. This means that the court does not need to know the reason for the divorce,
just that the marriage has broken down irretrievably. When can I apply for a divorce in Australia?
To apply for divorce in Australia, you and your spouse must have separated at least 12
months ago. In addition, one of you must be an Australian citizen, or must regard Australia
as their home and be living in Australia. If you have been married for less than two
years you will also have to participate in counselling to discuss the possibility of
reconciliation, prior to making the divorce application.
How do I apply for a divorce in Australia? You can apply for a divorce in Australia by
filing an application online, or by completing the necessary forms and posting them to a
Family Law Registry for filing. You will need to send:
• an Application for Divorce form which has been signed and sworn or affirmed by a
lawyer, Justice of the Peace, or an accepted witness. You must include the original document
and two photocopies. • a photocopy of your marriage certificate.
This does not need to be sworn, affirmed or certified.
• all other documents you think might be relevant to your application, such as a certificate
of your citizenship or a photocopy of your visa. You should include three copies of each
document in your application. Can I apply for a divorce as the sole applicant?
If the divorce application is made by you alone as a sole applicant, you will have to
serve a copy of the application on the other party. You, the applicant, will have to provide
evidence to the court that the application has been served and received by the other
party. This is normally done by filing an Affidavit of Service with the Court.
The other party may then file a Response to Divorce if they disagree with any of the information
provided on the application or if they oppose the divorce. There are very few opportunities
to oppose the divorce unless the parties have not been separated for 12 months or if the
court does not have jurisdiction. If the other party does not oppose the divorce
then they do not have to attend the hearing. You, the applicant, will also not have to
attend the hearing if there are no children under 18 and you have filed the Affidavit
of Service providing evidence that the application has been served.
Difficulties with service If you do not know the location of your ex-spouse
or have difficulty serving the divorce application, you will have to apply to the court through
your divorce lawyer for substituted service or dispensation of service.
Substituted service allows you to serve the divorce application on a family member who
has contact with your ex-spouse or at their place of work. The dispensation of service
is granted only in specific circumstances as it means that a divorce will be granted
without the other party being made aware that the hearing is taking place.
If you were married overseas and now live in Australia, you can still apply for divorce
in Australia. You must supply a copy of the marriage certificate along with an English
translation, if applicable. Either you or your ex-spouse must be an Australian citizen,
or one of you must have resided in Australia for longer than 12 months and intend to live
here permanently. How long until the divorce is granted?
The divorce is normally granted one month and one day after the hearing.
If you are planning on remarrying you should wait until the divorce has been granted before
making preparations. Not all divorces are finalised at the first hearing. In some situations
the court will require further proof of the date of separation, or that adequate arrangements
have been made for any children under the age of 18.
Will the divorce resolve my children and property issues too?
The granting of a divorce does not deal with issues about property or make formal parenting
orders. These must be dealt with separately to the divorce application.
Decisions about property and custody issues can be done any time after separation and
up to 12 months after the divorce has been granted.
What to do next If you or someone you know wishes to apply
for a divorce, or has been served with an application for divorce, it is important to
obtain legal advice as soon as possible. Go To Court Lawyers operate a Legal Hotline
on 1300 636 846 where you can talk directly to a lawyer from 7am to midnight, 7 days a
week. Your call will be treated with the strictest confidentiality and without judgement.
The lawyer will assess your matter and recommend a course of action.
Should you need a Court lawyer, even at very short notice, the Legal Hotline staff will
be able to arrange one for you. You can also request a call back via the website gotocourt.com.au
and a lawyer will call you back to assess your matter.

Only registered users can comment.

  1. Lovely Video clip! Sorry for the intrusion, I am interested in your initial thoughts. Have you heard about – Taparton Returning Love Takeover (do a google search)? It is an awesome one off guide for learning how to stop divorce minus the headache. Ive heard some super things about it and my best friend Jordan at last got cool success with it.

  2. Why is it that they had to actually show a female being the sole applicant?. as if she is all innocent? Once again sexism at its best thumbs up

  3. Asi son las leyes en los países,Supongo que en otros países son diferentes pero creo que esta basando en proteger a la mujer y a los niños si los hay.

  4. Morally..no such thing as NFD. Highest income earner is always (to my knowledge) penalised. Highest earner generally/statistically male. 75% females file 4 divorce. He screws around, he gets penalised. She screws around, HE still gets penalised.

  5. I was only separated for 11 months. But the court gave me my Final divorce papers. Is this divorce legal or not? Because I have talked to a lawyer and they said technically I am still married and the court should have not signed off on the divorce and I can not get a straight answer from anyone.

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