When, how to & the requirements to get a Divorce

How to get Divorced in Australia: The Requirements 

In Australia you cannot file an Application for Divorce in Court as soon as you separate.

As well as having had to have been separated for at least 12 months, there are other requirements you must satisfy before you will be entitled to file your Divorce Application in Court in Australia.

All of the following must apply to you for you to be able to file your Divorce Application and sucessfully obtain a Divorce in Australia:



  • Your marriage must have broken down irretrievably;
  • There is no reasonable likelihood of resuming married life;
  • Reasonable arrangements must have been made for the care of any children under 18 years of age;
  • You need to have been married for at least 2 years or if not, then attended the required counselling.

As well as being able to satisfy everything on the above list of requirements, you need to have an appropriate jurisdictional connection with Australia to be able to get an Australian Divorce.

You can have a jurisdictional connection with Australia in one of 3 ways.

In addition, to apply for a Divorce in Australia either you or your husband/wife must:

  1. regard Australia as your home and intend to live in Australia indefinitely;
  2. be an Australian citizen by birth, descent or by grant of Australian citizenship;
  3. ordinarily live in Australia and have done so for 12 months immediately before filing for divorce.

You must satisfy all of the requirements listed above as well as one of the three jurisdictional connections with Australia, to be able to get a divorce in Australia.

If you meet all the legal requirements to get a divorce in Australia then see our checklist to follow how to file for divorce.

Divorce in Australia: What else you should know

Having a checklist of steps you need to follow so you can do your Divorce yourself without paying a lawyer will save you some divorce costs. Our information sheet A list of steps you need to take to get a Divorce gives you an easy to follow procedure to do your own divorce.

If you are applying for a Divorce you will want to know the cost of getting a Divorce and the length of time it is likely to take for your Divorce to be granted by the Court.

Courts do not consider all issues (such as property settlement, parenting arrangements, child support etc) when granting a divorce. The issues the Court looks at are explained in our information sheet What things will a Court want to know to grant a Divorce.

If you are doing your Divorce yourself then you need to be prepared for what will happen on the day your divorce is heard in Court. We have a information sheet explaining What happens at the Divorce Hearing.

Issues surrounding your children, money, finances and property will usually be dealt with first once you have decided to get a Divorce, but you should also know what is explained in our information sheet How does Divorce affect your Will, Superannuation, Life Insurance and family after death.

If you reconciled after your separation then you will need to read our separate information sheet about how periods of reconcilliation affect your application for Divorce.

If you need to file an Affidavit about your separation under the same roof with your Divorce Application, then you can read how to do so in our information sheet How to prepare an Affidavit.

If you got married overseas you can still apply for a Divorce in Australia. Read our information sheet about Australian Divorce requirements for marriages overseas, to see whether additional requirements will apply to you.

If you have been married for less than 2 years there is a requirement that you attend counselling before you are eligible to apply for a divorce. If this applies to you, you can read more in our Fact Sheet Marriages less than Two Years.


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