making an application for a divorce involves a few simple steps
Assuming you are eligible, it is not difficult to apply for a divorce in Australia. Here is a quick guide to help you understand the process.
Australian citizens, as well as noncitizens who meet certain residency requirements, can apply for a divorce in Australia. To be eligible, you must also meet these conditions:
- You must have been separated from your spouse for at least 12 months. It is possible to be sharing a residence and still be “separated” if you are not living together as a married couple.
There must be no reasonable likelihood of resuming a married life.
If you have children, you must make arrangements to provide for their welfare before the court will grant a divorce.
You start the process by filing an application for divorce. You can find an application form online at the Family Law Courts website. After you fill out the application, you will need to sign it in front of a lawyer, a Justice of the Peace, or another person who is authorized to witness signatures.
If your spouse wants to join you in filing for divorce, you can file a joint application. Otherwise you can file an individual application and serve it upon your spouse.
The original and two copies of the application should be filed at a Family Law Registry, together with a copy of your marriage certificate. You can check the Family Law Courts website to find the nearest Family Law Registry. You will need to pay a filing fee at the time of filing. The application can also be filed online.
Unless you file a joint application, you will need to serve the application upon your spouse. When you file the application, the clerk will return a sealed copy to you along with a time and date for a hearing. You must serve that document, together with an informational brochure, upon your spouse at least 28 days before the hearing (or 42 days if your spouse is overseas).
If your spouse will sign and return a form acknowledging receipt of the documents, you can send the sealed application to your spouse by post, together with the acknowledgement form. If you fear that your spouse will not be cooperative, you can have a friend or a professional process server hand the sealed application to your spouse personally. That person will need to fill out a form swearing that service has been accomplished.
Disclaimer : This article provides basic information only and is not a substitute for a professional or legal advice. It is prudent to obtain legal advice from a family lawyer.