When can I get divorced?

2nd May 2018

So you’ve recently separated from your husband or wife and are thinking about getting a divorce.

Under Australian law, you must be separated for at least 12 months before you are able to file an Application for Divorce. This is because the legal system puts an emphasis on reconciliation, and this must be considered prior to being able to file for divorce.

Separation can result from a breakdown in communication from either one or both of the parties. Sometimes this happens so slowly, and for so long that you are unsure where the relationship even went wrong. Out of frustration and hopelessness, you separate.

In these circumstances, you may choose to seek counselling to help you to start communicating effectively.
Sometimes this can save a marriage, which is great news. Other times, it is only a temporary fix and a deeper issue remains.

You must be aware that if you reconcile with your partner for 3 months or more, then the 12 month time period starts again.

Other circumstances need to be considered as well. How long have you been married? Has it been less than 2 years? Are you still living together or has one party moved out following separation? If you are still living together or have been married less than 2 years, please come and speak to one of our family lawyers. There are additional requirements you must meet in these circumstances to obtain a divorce.

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