When can I get divorced?
By Skye Wylde
Family & Relationship Lawyer
Divorce is the formal legal ending of a marriage, it is separate and distinct from property settlement and parenting arrangements.
To get divorced, you need to demonstrate that your marriage has ‘irretrievably broken down’ and there is no likelihood of the relationship resuming. You must be separated for at least 12 months, which can include separation under the one roof in some circumstances.
Australia has a ‘no fault’ divorce system. This means that a court does not consider which partner was ‘at fault’ in the breakdown of the marriage.
If you married overseas, you can apply for a divorce in Australia, so long as you meet certain criteria.
You aren’t required to get a divorce after separation however, remaining married may affect your legal obligations and how your property is dealt with in the event of your death.
Limitation periods apply once a divorce order is made which could prevent you from applying to the court for property orders, so it’s important to understand your rights before getting started.