Getting a Divorce

Getting a divorce is simply getting unmarried. It is quite separate from arrangements with your ex spouse over property or children.

In Australia we have ‘no fault’ divorce. That means you don’t have to show that the marriage breakdown was caused by the behaviour of one of the spouses. Generally, all you need to show is that you have been separated for 12 months and that there is no possibility of reconciliation. (If the marriage lasted for less than 2 years the rules are different).

For these purposes, “separation” doesn’t mean you necessarily have to live apart. You can be separated under the same roof. Some of our clients choose to handle their divorce themselves. (Do it yourself divorce kits are available at the Family Law Courts.) Others ask us to handle their divorce for them. Some divorces can be more difficult and are best handled by a lawyer (such as where a spouse’s whereabouts is unknown or where a marriage certificate is lost).

However the divorce is handled it must be remembered that, once a divorce has been finalised, you only have 12 months in which to lodge an application in the Family Law Courts for a property settlement.

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