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Who is Eligible for a Divorce? 

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. You must also both be an Australian citizen by birth, descent or by grant of Australian citizenship. Otherwise, you must ordinarily live in Australia and have done so for 12 months immediately before filing for divorce.

You need to satisfy the Court that you and your spouse have lived separately and apart for at least 12 months. There must also be no reasonable likelihood of resuming married life. However, it is possible to separate but still live together in the same home. Same sex couples whose marriages are recognised can also apply for a divorce after this time period.

Applications and Hearings 

People now must complete their divorce applications online. There is a filing fee for divorce applications. However, if you hold certain government concession cards or are experiencing financial hardship, you may be eligible for a reduced fee. 

As for divorce hearings, you will not need to attend if there is no child of the marriage under 18 years or if it is a joint application with children under 18. However, if it is a sole application with children under 18, the court will require you to be present during the hearing. 

The granting of a divorce does not decide issues about your property. If you want to make arrangements about these issues, you can make an agreement with your spouse. Then you must file it with the court or. If you cannot reach an agreement then you can seek orders from the court. 

Katrina Peters

Associate at Statewide Legal Practice