Divorce is the official ending of a marriage.

The only legal requirement for getting a divorce is the ‘irretrievable breakdown’ of the marriage— usually proven by the husband and wife being separated for 12 months with no likelihood of getting back together.

When applying for a divorce your partner doesn’t have to agree, and the law doesn’t decide who is at ‘fault’ for the marriage breakdown.

When the divorce becomes final you are free to remarry.

You can’t remarry without a divorce. Staying married may affect your rights and responsibilities when dealing with financial matters, wills and estates. For example, if you stay married, and remain separated, have other relationships, perhaps other children, and then you die – your former partner may have an absolute entitlement to your estate.

To Apply for a Divorce, you or your ex-partner must:

  • be an Australian citizen or
  • live in Australia and consider it your permanent home or
  • normally live in Australia and have lived here for at least 12 months before applying for a divorce and
  • have been separated for 12 months.

You can still apply for a divorce if you were married overseas, or if you don’t know where your partner is, as long as you live in Australia.


The court will need to make sure proper arrangements have been made involving children before allowing a divorce to proceed.

The court will want to know:

  • where they will live
  • how they will be financially supported
  • about their health and education and
  • how they’ll continue to maintain a relationship with both parents and other important people in their lives.

If the Court is satisfied proper arrangements have been made for the children, then the divorce should proceed without any impediments.

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