In Australia, you are eligible to apply for a divorce 12 months after the date on which you separated. You do not need the other parties’ consent to apply, and can file your application either jointly or separately. However, your divorce will not be final until your Divorce Order is issued. Your Order will issue one (1) month after your divorce hearing takes place and will be final as at the date stipulated on the Order.
Many people prolong their divorce application on the assumption that it is unnecessary if they are not remarrying soon. But you should be aware that any delays may impact on your future estate planning. You also run the risk of potentially having difficulty locating your former spouse to serve them, which may incur further and unnecessary costs to you. It is our advice that, where possible, you should try to finalise all matters as soon as possible. In this way, you are not required to revisit the issue and emotions years down the track.
Whilst a divorce may officially conclude your marriage, it is separate to your property and parenting matters. You do not have to wait until your divorce is finalised before discussing and documenting any parenting or property matters, as these can be done at any time.
Please note however, that once your Divorce Order issues, a time limitation of 12 months applies to resolve your property matters with your former spouse. If this time limitation period expires, it will be difficult for you to proceed with your matter as you will be out of time.
Please note that the Court charges a significant filing fee for these applications. However, if you hold a concession card this may assist in substantially reducing your fees.
Some helpful resources for this stage: