A divorce is the dissolving of a marriage and does not include the financial settlements or parenting agreements. In order to apply for a divorce you and your spouse must have been separated for twelve months and meet one of the following criteria:
- Be an Australian citizen.
- Have lived in Australia for 12 months before making an application.
- Be lawfully present in Australia and consider it to be your permanent home.
A divorce application can be made by either party individually or by both parties jointly. When the divorce application is being made individually it’s vital the documents are served on the other party in accordance with the rules of the Court.
When there are children under 18 and it’s not a joint application the person applying for the divorce must attend the Court hearing. At the conclusion of a successful hearing the Court will issue a Divorce Order which is to take effect and terminate the marriage one month and one day later. The Court will issue a Divorce Order and a Certificate that it has taken effect to each party.
If either party wishes to apply for property or maintenance orders this must be done within 12 months of the date upon which a Divorce Order takes effect, otherwise permission of the Court will be required to commence proceedings. Property orders, maintenance or parenting orders can otherwise be sought by consent or otherwise at any time prior to a divorce.