How to Get a Divorce

To get a divorce in Australia, either you or your partner need to be an Australian citizen, be ordinarily living in Australia for at least the past 12 months, or regard Australia as your home with the intention of living in Australia indefinitely. Before you can get a divorce, you must be able to satisfy the court that you and your spouse have been separated for at least 12 months.

There must be no reasonable likelihood that you and your spouse will get back together. It is also important that you have your marriage certificate. If you married in another country and your marriage certificate is not in English, you will need to have it translated. If you fulfil these requirements, you are then eligible to apply for divorce.

You and your spouse do not have to make the divorce application together. You can make a sole application or a joint application. The divorce application comprises a form to fill out and then lodge with the court. The application should be lodged online via the Commonwealth Courts Portal. Depending on your own circumstances, you may need to file additional documents, such as affidavits, to support your divorce application.

Applying for divorce carries a filing fee of $900, although you may be eligible for a reduced filing fee. If you are making a sole application, you will need to notify your spouse that you have applied for divorce. This is called serving the application for divorce on your spouse. Court attendance may or may not be necessary for you to get a divorce.

The court may grant your divorce, dismiss your application or adjourn the case if they require further information. When the court grants your divorce, it will become final one month and one day after the court makes the order.