In Australia, you can apply for a divorce only after you have been separated from your partner for over at least one year. Since the 1976 Family Law Act established the ‘no-fault divorce’ system, there is no need to prove that the divorce or breakdown of a marriage was due to the fault of a certain party.
Therefore, the only requirement to apply for a divorce is to prove that the marriage has ‘broken down irretrievably’ meaning the marriage cannot be salvaged or mended – i.e. through marriage and couples counselling etc.
However, as mentioned before, divorce settlements require evidence that both individuals have been separated for at least one year.
If you’re only looking to settle disputes and arrangements regarding shared children under 18 years of age with your spouse, then this can be dealt with immediately and does not require waiting a certain time period. See our Child & Parenting Arrangements page for more.
Likewise, if you’re only looking to settle asset or property issues or disputes, these too can also be dealt with immediately and do not require waiting a certain time period. See Private Client page for more.
If your spouse does not agree to the divorce, it may still be possible for the court to continue with your divorce application without the other spouse present, given that you can prove separation for over one year as well as necessary arrangements have been made in relation to any shared children.
After your final divorce hearing, the outcome or order by the judge does not take full effect until 4 weeks after the order has been given.