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If you or your spouse have decided to “get divorced”, if you have been separated for 12 months or more, our family lawyers can assist you to file an Application for Divorce and obtain a Divorce Order from the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia.

The Family Law Act 1975 provides there is one ground for divorce – that there is an irretrievable breakdown of marriage evidenced by 12 months’ separation between the parties to the marriage. If the Court is satisfied that the parties have “separated and thereafter lived separately and apart” for a continuous period of not less than 12 months, a Divorce Order will be granted.

What is separation under one roof?

A divorce order may still be made in circumstances you have been separated but remained living under the same roof. Separation under one roof is where you have separated but have continued living in the home together. This could be for a few days, weeks, months or years following separation.

If you have lived together under the one roof during the 12 months separation period, you will need to file an Affidavit with the Court alongside your Application for Divorce which sets out:

  • A change in the sleeping arrangements
  • A reduction in family outings or social engagements
  • A reduction in performing household duties for each other such as cooking and washing
  • Dividing of finances
  • If family and friends were advised of your separation

What is my spouse doesn’t agree to the divorce?

There are two (2) ways to apply for a divorce. Those are:

  • A sole application for Divorce – this means that only you are making the application for divorce and will sign the application. You will need to arrange for your spouse to be personally served with the Application for Divorce. If there are children under 18 years old, you will need to attend the Divorce hearing.
  • A joint application for Divorce – this means that you and your spouse are mutually agreeing to the divorce and will both sign the Application for Divorce. Even if there are children under 18 years old, neither you or your spouse will need to attend the Divorce hearing.

Divorce Order

A Divorce Order takes affect one month and one day from the date of the Divorce Hearing.

Once your Divorce becomes absolute, time limitations commence if you and your former spouse have not finalised your property settlement matter. Spouses have 12 months from the date of the divorce to commence proceedings in the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia.


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