When am I eligible to apply for a divorce? 

In Australia, there is only one ground for divorce - that the marriage has irretrievably broken down. The Family Law Act, introduced in 1975, altered the process with the Court no longer considering the reasons for the breakdown of the marital relationship, but purely evidence that the couple had indeed been separated for a period of at least 12 months. 

The husband and wife are required to have been separated for at least a 12 month period before filing for the divorce. It is possible for husband and wife to live under the same roof for that time provided that they give sufficient evidence of their separation before submitting a Divorce Application. 


How do I file for a divorce?


A Divorce Application is filed at the Federal Magistrates Court. It can be filed by one party (sole application) or together as a couple (joint application). The terms for which you serve an application will, whether sole or joint, be different. Your lawyer will prepare the Divorce Application on your behalf and will serve it on your spouse if you are the Applicant. It must be noted that a Divorce Application is entirely separate to a property settlement or parenting arrangements. Your lawyer will take care of everything to ensure minimal stress to you and your family. This will be a stressful time and you will need someone on your side that will support you with the arrangements.  


A hearing will take place approximately 6-8 weeks after a Divorce Application is filed. We will notify you if your circumstances require you to personally be in attendance in Court. Please note that if you have children under the age of 18 years old, you will be required to attend the hearing.


The Court will declare a Decree Nisi of the marriage (finalised one month later), provided that the Court decides that the children of the marriage are going to be sufficiently cared for and that proper arrangements have been made to ensure their welfare. Entities that will be considered included, but are not limited to housing, health, education and financial support. 



Here at Vizzone Ruggero Twigg Lawyers, we will support you throughout the divorce process as it can be a life-changing event for you and your family. Lisa Ruggero Salerno or Daniella Ruggero, both Accredited Family Specialists, can help you.