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How long does a divorce take?

The Application for Divorce is now exclusively an online Application via the Commonwealth Court Portal and is designed to simplify the process.

The Application can be made by one spouse alone or jointly. The benefit of a joint Application is that the hearing can proceed in the absence of both parties, provided that all the required documents are uploaded to the Portal and all other requirements are met.

To be eligible to file an Application for Divorce in Australia, the following is required:

  • You need to be validly married in a recognised jurisdiction and provide evidence of your marriage certificate (in English).
  • Irretrievable breakdown of the marriage; proved by a minimum separation period of 12 months and 1 day.
  • At least one of the spouses must:
    • regard Australia as their home and intend to live here indefinitely, or
    • be an Australian citizen by birth, descent or by grant of Australian citizenship, or
    • ordinarily live in Australia and have done so for 12 months immediately before filing for divorce.

When filing the Application for Divorce, the Commonwealth Courts Portal allows the Applicant to choose their hearing date from a list of available dates. No dates will be available less than 28 days prior to the filing date to give adequate time for the service of the Application upon the other spouse and to provide them time to file a Response, should they wish to.

Usually, it will take 2 to 3 months from filing of the Application for the Divorce to be finalised, depending on how early a hearing date is allocated. If proven by the Registrar at the hearing, a Certificate of Divorce will issue one month after the hearing date.

Download your Free Divorce Advice ebook Parting Ways: Divorce and Separation: A Guide to Your Rights & Responsibilities

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