Do I need permission to get divorced?

The short and simple answer is no.  A divorce can be initiated by one spouse or be applied for jointly.  If you choose to file for divorce on your own, you will have to ensure that all documents are provided to your ex-spouse by a third party over 18 years of age.  The Court must be satisfied that your ex-spouse has been served before a divorce can be granted.

Whilst you do not need permission to get divorced, you do need to meet certain criteria to be eligible for divorce.  Our simple checklist below allows you to determine whether you are eligible to file for divorce:

  1. Are you or your ex-spouse an Australian citizen or regard Australia as you home within which you intend to indefinitely reside or live in and have done so for 12 months prior to filing for divorce?
  2. Have you been married for at least 2 years?  If it has been less than 2 years, have you attended marriage counselling and received a certificate?
  3. Have you been separated for at least 1 year?  You do not need to have moved out of the family home.
  4. Has the marriage broken down without there being a chance of reconciliation?
  5. If you have children, have suitable arrangements been made for any children under 18?  The arrangements do not need to be documented in Court Orders.

If you have answered “Yes” to each question listed above, then you can successfully apply for a divorce order.

While the criteria may be simple, there are common pitfalls when it comes to finalising a divorce.  At Shanahan Family Law we can assist you to avoid those pitfalls including complying with service time limits, drafting affidavits explaining name changes, responding to a divorce application and filing an application and attending on your behalf at the divorce hearing.

Once your divorce has been granted it will come into effect 1 month and 1 day after the date of the order.  You may only remarry after this date.

It is important to remember that in Australia a no-fault principle applies which means the Court will not ask why the marriage has ended.  Further, a divorce does not consider any property adjustments or parenting disputes.  Should you require assistance with a divorce or with resolving your property and/or parenting matters, contact Shanahan Family Law for your free initial 20-minute consultation.

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