Divorce

image of separationYou can apply for a divorce in the Family Courts if you have been separated for 12 months and there is no chance of you and your ex-partner getting back together.

For more information on how to get divorced, see what needs to happen before I can get a divorce and get legal adviceACTNSWNTQldSATasVicWA.

See resources for other information including divorce application forms and guides.

 

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image of a checklistNo. You can stay legally married, even though you have separated from your ex-partner.

You will need a divorce if either you or your husband or wife want to get married to someone else.

It’s a good idea to let organisations know you have separated, see this Australia Post checklist of services to update your details with.

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image of disagreement or comparisonYou do not need the consent of your husband or wife to get divorced. You just need to meet the requirements for a divorce. See what needs to happen before I can get a divorce?

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image of a watchUsually, separation starts when one person tells the other person they consider the marriage to be over and then stops behaving as a husband and wife. See how do I separate.

 

image of separation under one roofYou can be separated even if you stay living together. See separation under one roof. You will need to give the court extra information if you apply for a divorce and are separated under one roof.

 

image of legal adviceIf you get back together for a short period of time and then separate again, you may still be eligible for a divorce. Get legal adviceACTNSWNTQldSATasVicWA about how this affects the separation period needed for a divorce.

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To get a divorce, you need to prove to the Family Courts that:

  • you were legally married—you can prove this by providing your marriage certificate. If you don’t have your marriage certificate, get legal adviceACTNSWNTQldSATasVicWA
  • your marriage has ended and there is no chance that you will get back together
  • you have been separated for 12 months before you applied for the divorce
  • either you or husband or wife are an Australian citizen, a permanent resident or have been living in Australia for at least 12 months before you applied for the divorce. You can apply for a divorce if you were married overseas
  • if you have children, there are care arrangements in place for your children. This does not have to be a Parenting Order.

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image of person thinking about courtNo. A divorce is different to dividing property and arrangements for the children.

 

 

A divorce only legally ends your marriage.

 

 

image of propertyWhen the court deals with a divorce application, it cannot make orders about your children or property.

 

image of a family meetingYou can start sorting out how to divide property and what arrangements to make for your children as soon as you separate.

 

 

image of a calendarIf you get divorced, this starts a time-limit – you have 12 months from the date you got divorced to start court action about property or spousal maintenance.

 

 

image of legal adviceIf you need to start court action about property or spousal maintenance but you got divorced longer than 12 months ago, get legal adviceACTNSWNTQldSATasVicWA.

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image of legal adviceNo. You do not have to use a lawyer to get divorced.

If you are finding it hard to complete the Application for Divorce or are having trouble following the rules about how you give your husband or wife your application, you should get legal adviceACTNSWNTQldSATasVicWA.

You may need a lawyer to help with making arrangements for children or dividing property.

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image of a planeYou can still get divorced in Australia if you were legally married overseas, as long as you can prove the other things you need to get a divorce. See what needs to happen before I can get a divorce?

You will need to include a copy of your marriage certificate with your application for divorce. If you don’t have your marriage certificate, get legal adviceACTNSWNTQldSATasVicWA.

If your marriage certificate is in another language, you will need to get it translated using a NAATI Certified Translator.

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© Copyright National Legal Aid 2019. All rights reserved. All illustrations by Frances Cannon.

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