Going through a divorce can be a very difficult time for a couple. At Duncan Basheer Hannon, our divorce lawyers understand that it can be a delicate situation and take care to be sensitive.
Understanding the divorce process
A divorce will be granted by the courts once irretrievable breakdown of marriage is demonstrated by a period of 12 months continuous separation.
You can be deemed to be separated even if you and your ex-partner remain residing at the same address. Once the court is satisfied that you have met all of the criteria for a divorce, a divorce will be granted and become absolute one month later – enabling you to re-marry.
You do not need to wait until your divorce is granted to finalise your financial and parenting arrangements. This can be done through the Courts or by entering into a Binding Financial Agreement. Once a divorce is finalised, you have 12 months to apply to the court for a property settlement or spousal maintenance – otherwise you will need to obtain permission for the court to apply to finalise your matters.
Can I apply for a divorce?
You can apply for a divorce in Australia if:
- You are an Australian citizen.
- Regard Australia as your home and intend to live in Australia indefinitely.
- If you ordinarily live in Australia and have done so for 12 months immediately before filing for divorce.
- You can prove to the court that you and your spouse have lived separately and apart for at least 12 months and there is no reasonable likelihood of resuming married life.
While you may prepare your own divorce application we highly recommend that you ask a lawyer to do it on your behalf.
What a court considers in divorce applications
The only legal grounds for divorce are that the marriage has broken down irretrievably and there is no reasonable likelihood that you can reconcile after a 12 month period of separation. If you have children under 18, a court will only grant a divorce if it is satisfied that proper arrangements have been made for them. The court works on a principle of ‘no fault’ divorce, meaning it does not consider why the marriage ended.