There is one ground for divorce namely that the marriage has irretrievably broken down. In Australia our system is not based on the fault of either party. Establishing that a marriage has irretrievably broken down is done by showing the Court:

  • That you have lived separately and apart for at least 12 months, or

  • If you have lived apart but under one roof for 12 months you will need to establish that two separate households have been adopted. You will need evidence from a third party who can corroborate that you have lived as a separated couple during this time.

The Court charges a filing fee to file the divorce application.

  • You can prepare the application for divorce solely or jointly with your partner.

  • You can apply for a divorce in Australia if either you or your partner:

  • Regard Australia as your home and intend to live in Australia indefinitely; or

  • Are an Australian Citizen by birth, decent or by grant of Australian Citizenship; or

  • Ordinarily live in Australia and have done so for 12 months immediately before filing for divorce.

  • When you file the application for divorce the Court will allocate a hearing date which will normally be about three months after you have filed the Application.

Application for divorce

If your application for divorce is successful the Court will grant a divorce. The Order becomes final, one month and one day later. Then the Court issues you with a Certificate of Divorce. You will need to keep your Certificate of Divorce if you want to prove that you are not married or you want to remarry or change any of your identity documents. Once the Divorce is granted you have 12 months from the date of the divorce to make an Application for property settlement or spouse maintenance. It is for this reason that we recommend that you do not apply for your divorce until you have resolved (or at least started) your property case. The Divorce is independent from property and parenting applications. The Divorce is the legal ending of your marriage, and allows you to remarry should you wish to do so.


  • If there is no child of the marriage under 18 you are not required to attend the hearing whether you make the application by yourself or jointly. If you make a joint application and there is a child under 18 neither you nor your partner need to attend the hearing but;

  • if you make an application on your own and there is a child under 18 you will have to attend the hearing.

The Court will need to be satisfied that proper arrangements have been made for the child or children of the marriage. Even if the Court is not satisfied that proper arrangements have been made for the children they can in limited circumstances grant the divorce anyway.

Given the mobility of our clientele today we are experienced in international divorce law matters. You will need a copy of your marriage certificate to file with your Application for Divorce.