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6/11 Prince of Wales Avenue South West Rocks,
PO Box 16 South West Rocks NSW 2431

T 02 6566 6250

Level 1 22 Belgrave Street Kempsey
PO Box 161 Kempsey NSW 2440

T 02 6562 3300


Are you ready for Divorce?

Finding yourself in a broken marriage and facing divorce can leave you emotional & confused.

There are laws to ending a marriage, as well as the task of property settlement and parenting plans.

There are a number of requirements which must be met before the court will make a divorce order.

In Australia, the only ground for divorce under the Family Law Act is an irretrievable breakdown of marriage. This means the court no longer considers why the marriage ended, such as cruelty, adultery, and desertion. Instead, an irretrievable breakdown must be established. This occurs when:
• You have separated for 12 months or more, and
• There is no reasonable likelihood of you resuming cohabitation.

When are you and your ex-partner officially separated?

For a valid separation, you or your partner must form the intention to end the relationship. This could include verbal communication or moving out of the family home. You must be separated for at least 12 months in order to meet this requirement.

Is there any likelihood you and your ex-partner will resume cohabitation?

The courts will not consider making a divorce order if there is a chance the relationship will resume.

Once an irretrievable breakdown of marriage is satisfied, your solicitor can proceed with your divorce application.

You can either make a joint application, which reduces costs, or make a sole application.

The application is filed with the Federal Circuit Court. A hearing date will generally be set 6-8 weeks from the date the application is filed.

Do you have to attend court?

• If it is a joint application, you and your ex-partner won’t need to attend court.
• If it is a sole application, you and your ex-partner won’t need to attend court, unless there are children under 18.

At the hearing, the court will decide if the requirement of ‘irretrievable breakdown of marriage’ has been satisfied. If it has, a divorce order will likely be granted and will take effect one month from the date it is granted.

You may also benefit from talking to us for 10 minutes to resolve your most immediate questions. We can review your situation and give you the practical advice you need.