Australia is a ‘no fault’ jurisdiction for divorce. Before you are eligible to make an application for the dissolution of your marriage, you must firstly be separated for a continuous period of twelve (12) months before lodging your application to show that there has been an “irretrievable breakdown of the marriage”.
You are also required to demonstrate:
That there has been a valid marriage;
Service of the Application for Divorce;
That one party is domiciled in Australia; and
That there are proper arrangements for any child under the age of eighteen (18) years.
There are two significant legal consequences of your divorce being granted as follows:
The limitation period of your matrimonial property settlement starts. You have twelve (12) months from the date the Divorce Order in which to either finalise property settlement and spousal maintenance matters or have commenced Court proceedings.
The Divorce Order may impact on your current Last Will and Testament you may have. You need to make a new Will.
To be separated for a continuous period of twelve (12) months means, that you and your spouse must have agreed or one of you communicated to the other that the relationship is over. You and your spouse will then need to live separately and ideally, apart. There are some circumstances where spouses can reside under the same roof but be deemed to be separated and can successfully file for divorce. Or in other circumstances, spouses can separate and reunite several times before officially separating, and can still successfully file for divorce.
Divorce is sometimes not so clear cut. As such, it is important to obtain proper advice from skilled family lawyers.