Usually, a divorce in Australia takes about four months. This time frame is calculated from the moment of lodging the divorce application in court to the date of finalisation, which is one month and one day after the divorce order is granted. The divorce process goes fastest when the court grants the divorce on the day of the court hearing, as well as if the parties made a joint application.
A joint application, in which the divorce application form is signed and filed by both spouses, does not take as long as a sole application because serving the divorce is not necessary. When a person makes a sole application, they are legally required to serve the divorce on their spouse, meaning formally notifying them that a divorce application has been filed. If this process takes some time, for example, if the spouse does not promptly return the acknowledgement of service, the divorce is prolonged.
When the court receives a divorce application, they will send a sealed copy to the applicant (or applicants) showing the date of the court hearing. If it was a joint application, going to this court hearing is not compulsory, even if there are children of the marriage.
However, if it was a sole application and there are children of the marriage, court attendance is compulsory. If the court is not satisfied that proper arrangements have been made for the children, they may adjourn the case, therefore postponing the finalisation of the divorce, as they require more information.
Otherwise, if the court is satisfied with your application, they can grant the divorce on the day of the hearing. The parties will receive a divorce order (previously known as a certificate of divorce) one month and one day later.