How do I apply for a divorce?

Statistics from the Australian Bureau of Statistics provide that in Australia in 2012 there were 123,244 marriages registered and 49,917 divorces granted. With such high rates of divorce, we are being increasingly asked by our clients how do I apply for a divorce?

The process of applying for a divorce is relatively straightforward. The application relates to legally ending the marriage and does not to the adjustment of property and formalising parenting arrangements. You can apply for a divorce solely, or with your ex-partner jointly.

For the Court to be able to grant the divorce, they will need to be satisfied of the following:-

  1. You and your ex-partner were validly married (which you can prove by providing a copy of your Marriage Certificate).
  2. The Court has the jurisdiction to hear your Application. You will need to satisfy the Court that you or your partners are Australia citizens, regard Australia as your permanent home or normally live in Australia.
  3. The marriage has irretrievably broken down. Which is evidenced by 12 months of separation.
  4. That where you are applying solely for a divorce that your spouse has been served with a copy of the application for divorce in sufficient time and had the opportunity to respond.
  5. That where you have children together that appropriate arrangements have been made for the care of the children.

Whether or not you will need to attend to hearing of the application depends on your circumstances. Where the application is made jointly there is no need to attend. Where the application is made solely and there are no children under the age of 18 there is also no need to attend. If you make a sole application and there are children under the age of 18 then you will be required to attend the hearing. You would also be required to attend where you ex-partner is seeking to contest the divorce.

If you would like assistance in applying for a divorce, or need a family law solicitor to represent you at the hearing of the divorce, please contact the family law team at McLaughlins lawyers today.

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