By Sharla Stevens
Since the introduction of the Family Law Act in 1975 there is no longer “fault-based” divorce here in Australia. In order to apply for a divorce now, you must show the Court the following:
- That the family court in Australia has jurisdiction to make a divorce order for you. To show this you must either:
- Regard Australia as your home and intend to live indefinitely here; or
- Be an Australian citizen by birth or descent; or
- Be an Australian citizen by grant of an Australian citizenship; or
- Ordinarily live in Australia and have done so for 12 months immediately before filing for divorce.
It is not enough that you were married in Australia to show that the court has jurisdiction. Also, you may still be entitled to apply for a divorce in Australia even if you were married overseas. If your marriage certificate is in another language, though, you will be required to have it formally translated into English.
- The sole ground for divorce is now that your marriage has broken down irretrievably, rather than the previous grounds that existed, such as adultery.
This can be established by showing that you and your husband or wife have separated and lived separately and apart for a continuous period of at least 12 months before filing an application for divorce.
The court cannot make a divorce order if there is a reasonable likelihood that you and your ex-partner may resume your relationship.
- If there are children under the age of 18 the court must be satisfied that proper arrangements have been made for their care, welfare and development.
There may be situations where during your period of separation you and your ex-partner continued to live under the same roof or there may have been periods where you tried to resume your relationship before separating again on a final basis. In some of these situations you may still be able to apply for a divorce and we would suggest that you obtain legal advice about your circumstances to see if you are eligible to apply for a divorce.
If you would like any assistance in relation to a divorce please contact Cristina Huesch or one of our solicitors Sharla Stevens or Angela Li at Alliance Family Law on (02) 6223 2400.