What does it mean to get a divorce?
Getting a divorce means that you and your spouse are legally separated. It means that you no longer share the one home, nor do you share your finances or property. If you have children, you may share their care if you agree in a parenting plan or parenting order.
Being divorced means that you both live separate lives and you can choose to re-marry if you wish to.
How do I get a divorce?
To get a divorce you must prove that your marriage is over or irretrievably broken down. This means that you have separated for 12months and you have no intention of getting back together again.
Sometimes you can apply for a divorce if you have been living separated under the same roof. You will need to satisfy the court that even though you have lived under the same roof you have lived separate lives.
What if my ex won’t agree to the divorce?
In Australia we have a no-fault divorce system and you do not need the agreement of your spouse to divorce. All you need to show the court is that you have lived separate lives for 12 months and your marriage is over.
Have you been married less than two years?
Marriage is a legal commitment. In Australia, if you have been married for less than two years, then you must have counselling before you apply for a divorce. You will need to attach a certificate from the counsellor confirming that you have gone to counselling.
What do I need to do to get a divorce?
You need to file a divorce application and to attach with it a copy of your marriage certificate and citizenship certificate or passport if you were not born in Australia.
If you have children under the age of 18 years, you need to satisfy the court that the children receive adequate education and child support to ensure that they are cared for properly.
You will also need to prove to the court that your spouse is aware of the divorce application (if your divorce is a sole one). You prove this by filing an affidavit of service with the court before the divorce hearing.
What does it cost to get a divorce?
You will need to pay for the divorce filing fee at the court, which is currently $900, or you can get a reduced fee if you are experiencing financial hardship.
General Information – Divorce Applications
Divorce is a stressful and life-changing event for many people, children and families. It is often a time of turmoil and anxiety. If you decide to divorce it is important that you take time to care for yourself and your children.
If you are leaving a violent relationship and you feel frightened for your safety, it is advisable that you let your local police know or you contact the domestic violence liaison officer near you. Divorce does not mean that your financial, property or parenting matters are resolved. However, be aware that if you do get a divorce, you have 12 months from the date of your divorce to arrange your financial affairs with your spouse.
If you need support or to find ways to rebuild your life following your divorce, checkout www.healthydivorce.com.au. This is a face to face program that empowers, supports and teaches you skills to create a new and happy life.