Requirements and Grounds for Divorce

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Common questions about getting divorced.

When can I apply for a divorce?

Once you and your spouse have been separated for at least 12 months.

Do I need to fill in a form to prove I am separated?

No. You must, however, communicate to your spouse, by your words and/or actions that you intend to separate. Sometimes the Court will pronounce a divorce even if you and your spouse are living in the same household, but you must provide evidence from an independent witness as to you relationship before and after the separation date.

Is fault relevant when it comes to divorce?

The only ground for divorce is that your marriage has broken down irretrievably. This means no reasonable likelihood you and your spouse will reconcile and separation for at least 12 months.

Can my spouse stop the Court from granting a divorce?

Only in extremely limited circumstances, for example if the Court cannot determine separation has occurred or when the Court finds you have not been separated for 12 months.

Can I get a divorce without entering into final property or parenting orders?

Yes. You do not have to divorce and finalise your property settlement at the same time. Once divorced you must apply for a property settlement and/or spousal maintenance within 12 months. Only in limited circumstances will the Court extend this time frame. However, if you have children under 18, the Court must be satisfied that arrangements for them are proper before pronouncing a divorce and may require evidence about your children’s circumstances.

For further advice about divorce and other family law issues contact our Lawyers.