Grounds for Divorce
The primary ground for divorce is the ‘irretrievable breakdown’ of the marriage, which typically entails both parties living separately and apart for a minimum period of twelve months before initiating the divorce process.
The purpose of the separation requirement is to demonstrate that the marriage has reached a point where the spouses no longer maintain a marital relationship. It serves as evidence that attempts at reconciliation have been exhausted and there is no reasonable prospect of the marriage continuing.
Couples with less than two years of marriage cannot apply for divorce without a certificate from a family counsellor. If they have not attended counselling, they must seek permission from the Court to apply for a divorce.
Couples who separated but live under one roof during part or all of the required 12 months separation period should provide extra information such as an affidavit to state that they have separated but live in same house.
If your marriage took place outside of Australia, it is possible to seek a divorce through the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (FCFCA). While the general eligibility requirements for divorce in Australia remain applicable (12 months separation), at least one party should establish the following requirements:
It is important to be aware that not all overseas marriages are recognised in Australia. The Marriage Act 1961 outlines specific grounds that can deem an overseas marriage invalid. One of these grounds is when one of the parties involved in the marriage was not of marriageable age (18 years of age).
Enlight Legal & Migration can answer your questions about divorce. Please contact us at 08 8260 8134 for legal advice or representation during your divorce.