How to File A Divorce Application in Australia

Marriages can sometimes end unexpectedly, and when they do, most couples decide to settle things legally, by filing a divorce. Children are the most important aspect of a marriage that is affected when filing for a divorce. However, besides this, there are many other items, inside the marriage that needs to be settled, in black and white, prior to the dissolution of a marriage.

Unlike in other countries, an irretrievable breakdown of a marriage is enough to apply for a divorce. A couple separated for a minimum of 12 months can apply for a divorce. Getting consent from both parties is also not essential, but one of the couple or both should be aware that the other believes that the marriage is already over.

Courts do not take sides during a divorce. The Court does not also consider who’s at fault in the ending of a marriage.

It is advisable to get legal advice when filing a divorce application. If you want to remarry, have legal arrangements when it comes to your children, and resolve financial matters, a lawyer can advice you expertly regarding these areas.

Requirements for Application

Separation for 12 months is one of the primary requirements for a divorce application. Others include:

  • Australian citizenship
  • Currently living in Australia and considers Australia as your home
  • Residing in Australia during the 12-month separation

Hiring a lawyer is not required for divorce applications. However, a smoother and complete process can be experienced through the guide of an expert legal adviser.

The Divorce Application Procedure

The sole application requires you to serve the other person with the divorce application. This is simply giving your ex-partner a copy of the divorce paperwork to be able to inform them about the court proceedings. A joint application will not require your actions.

Serving is not done personally. You can do this by mail, or better yet, though your lawyer. The Family Court requires special rules about service documents to be able to prove that the other party is indeed informed about the court proceeding.

The divorce documents need to be served 28 days before the court hearing if your spouse in Australia or within 42 days before the court hearing if they leave overseas. Failure to locate your spouse even after exerting all efforts allows you to apply for an order to dispense with service or for substituted service.

The divorce proceeding may take more than a month, especially if there are issues in your application. Sometimes it can take longer. The court will then grant a Divorce Order during the hearing. It will become final one month after the hearing where the Family Court will issue a Divorce Certificate

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