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How to Divorce

Before you can begin filing for divorce, you need to be eligible to do so in Australia. Either you or your partner needs to be an Australian citizen, be ordinarily living in Australia for at least the past 12 months, or intend to live in Australia indefinitely. You must be able to satisfy the court that you and your spouse have been separated for at least 12 months and that there is no reasonable likelihood that you will get back together.

You will need your marriage certificate. If you married in another country and the certificate is not in English, it must be translated. If you fulfil these requirements, you are eligible to divorce. You can file for divorce by making a sole or a joint (with your spouse) application. There is a form to fill out and lodge with the court. The most convenient way to divorce is online via the Commonwealth Courts Portal. You may need to include extra documents in your divorce application, such as affidavits.

When you apply for divorce, you must pay the filing fee of $900, although you may be eligible for a reduced filing fee. One difference between the divorce process when making a sole application versus a joint application is the requirement to serve the application on your spouse if you filed for divorce by yourself. This means formally notifying them that you have applied for a divorce.

Once you have filed for divorce, you will receive a stamped copy of your application from the court showing the date of your hearing. If you made a sole application and have children of the marriage under 18 years old, going to your court hearing is compulsory. If you made a joint application, court attendance is not compulsory.

Your divorce will become final one month and one day after the court grants it.

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