Divorce is the process of dissolving a marriage
The husband and wife are no longer bound by the ties of marriage, making them free to remarry. For purposes of remarriage it is essential to get a divorce.
The following are some preliminary requirements and important principles:
- An application for divorce can only be filed after twelve months of continuous separation.
- If the husband and wife are living in the same house but consider themselves separated, the requirements are:
- Affidavit of a relative or a friend who can attest to the separation
- Affidavit of the applicant spouse stating the changes in the union which would prove that they separated
- Separation occurs when at least one spouse has the intention to separate permanently, communicates that to the other spouse and acts on it.
- Application may be made by one spouse or jointly.
- The only ground for divorce is that the marriage has broken irretrievably.
- A person cannot remarry until after the divorce has become final.
The procedure for filing the divorce is as follows:
- Application for divorce may be accessed at the official website of the family courts.
- Application may be filed online if you are registered with the Commonwealth Courts Portal.
- Attach the Certificate of Marriage and the required affidavits (if applicable)
- Pay the fees ($800.00) but if you have a Centrelink Concession Card or a Health Care Card a discount may be sought.
- After the application has been filed, it will be scheduled for a hearing.
- If filed by one spouse, the application must be served personally or by registered mail to the other spouse. If by registered mail a delivery confirmation receipt must be obtained and the other spouse must sign the document.
- Additional costs if the delivery is by a bailiff.
- In cases of difficulty in service, apply to the court for substituted service or to dispense with the requirement of service.
- File an Affidavit of Service before the date of the hearing, if applicable.
- The applicant for divorce is required to attend the hearing if there are below 18 years old children in the marriage. Applicant must inform the court about the arrangements involving the children.
- Divorce is final one calendar month plus one day after the date the Application is granted at the hearing. A calendar month commences at the beginning of a day of a month and ending immediately before the beginning of the corresponding day of the next month or, if there is no such corresponding day, it will end at the expiration of the next month.
- Finalisation of maintenance and property settlement or filing of a property settlement action in the Family or Federal Circuit Courts must be within 12 months from the date the divorce became final.