Divorce and divorce settlements
A divorce is the legal dissolution of your marriage. You can apply for a divorce in Australia if either you or your spouse:
- regard Australia as your home and intend to live in Australia indefinitely; or
- are an Australian citizen by birth, descent or by grant of Australia citizenship; or
- ordinarily live in Australia and have done so for 12 months immediately before filing for divorce.
You will need to satisfy the court that you and your spouse have lived separately for at least 12 months, and that there is no reasonable likelihood of resuming married life.
It is possible to live together in the same home and still be separated. However, if this is the case, you will also need include an affidavit confirming that you are actually separated when you file your application for divorce.
Our team of family and relationship lawyers can help you throughout the divorce process, including:
- providing practical advice on how to complete your divorce application
- representing you at your divorce hearing (should a hearing be necessary)
- helping you work out the terms of your divorce settlement.
Working out your divorce settlement
The granting of a divorce does not decide issues about your divorce settlement. As part of finalising the terms of your divorce settlement, your lawyer and your ex-partner's lawyer will work with you both to try and agree how you will divide your assets (like property and superannuation) and also how you will work out care arrangements for your children (if you have them) and whether spousal maintenance will be paid.
Our team can assist you with advice in relation to your divorce settlement before you file your divorce application.
Divorce - time limits
It is important to be aware that under the Family Law Act, any application for financial orders (ie court orders relating to property or spousal maintenance claims) must:
- be filed within 12 months after the divorce has become absolute (this is one month after the divorce has been granted) if you were married; or
- be filed within two years following the end of your relationship, if you were in a de facto relationship.
In each case, you may be able to apply for financial orders outside of these time limits, provided certain conditions are met. Our team can advise you on what options are available to you.
Divorce and divorce settlements - further reading
- Applying for a divorce - what are the steps involved?
- Maintaining contact with your grandchildren when parents divorce or separate
- Property and financial settlements following separation or divorce.