The Courts deal with Divorce separately from children and property matters.

An Application for Divorce is generally filed in the Federal Magistrates Court. The standard Court filing fee is $550.00. Divorce in Australia is ‘No fault’.

The Application can be made by one party alone or jointly with your former spouse.

In some cases it can be hard to notify and ‘serve’ a spouse with the Application for Divorce and we can provide you with further information about that process and can assist you with attempting to locate and serve the Application – please contact us for more information.

For the Application to succeed you must establish:

1. Marriage

You must first satisfy the court that you have a valid marriage. A marriage certificate is generally enough evidence (with a sworn translation into English if necessary). If you do not have a copy of a marriage certificate or require translation – JV Legal can assist you.

If no marriage certificate is available, the Court may require you to give some alternate evidence of the marriage prior to granting divorce. This is usually done by affidavit – which we can prepare based on your instructions to us.

2. Jurisdiction

The Court only has power to grant a divorce if either party:

  • Regards Australia as home;
  • Intends to live in Australia indefinitely;
  • Has lived his or her whole life inAustralia;
  • Is an Australian citizen; or
  • Ordinarily lives in Australia and has lived in Australia for the 12 months prior to the making of the Application for Divorce.

3. 12 months Separation

The Court must be satisfied that the relationship has broken down irretrievably and it does this by confirming that a period of 12 months separation immediately before filing the Application has passed.

You can be “living together under the same roof’ and still be considered as living separately – provided you satisfy the Court that you are not living as husband and wife. In that case the Court will sometimes require a number of affidavits to be filed including one by a third party to confirm you have indeed been living separately. 

If a couple reconcile during the period of separation, the separation does not have to recommence provided any reconciliation or reconciliations do not total more than a total of three (3) months and those three (3) months do not count as part of the period of 12 months of separation.

4. Appropriate arrangements for Children

The Court will not grant a Divorce Application unless it is satisfied that appropriate arrangements are in place for any children of the relationship under 18 years.  That means that at the time of the divorce hearing, the children are being appropriately cared and provided for. There does not have to be any formal orders or arrangements in place and in many cases there may still be a dispute about arrangements for the children.

For assistance in applying for a Divorce or for any further family law information, please contact us.