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When applying for a divorce, the Court does not take account of the causes of marriage breakdown. It only requires that the marriage has broken down irretrievably. If you are married and you have been separated for at least twelve months, you can apply to the Federal Magistrates Court for a divorce.

If you have been married for a period of less than two years, you will normally require a counselling certificate before applying to the Court for a divorce.

If you have children, the Court has to be satisfied that you have made proper arrangements for your children’s welfare before granting a divorce.

Divorce marks the legal end of your marriage. However, your divorce will not settle the parenting of your children, child support, and the division of the property of your marriage. Where no agreement can be reached between you and your former spouse, these require separate proceedings.

You can apply to the Family Court or Federal Magistrates Court for orders for property settlement and this may be done at any time. However, the Family Law Act sets a time restriction of 12 months after your divorce for you to apply for a property settlement.

Please note that you can only apply to the Federal Magistrates Court
where the property in dispute is worth less than $700,000 (or worth more than this with the consent of the parties).

If you can both agree on how to divide your assets, you can ask the Family Court or Federal Magistrates Court to make orders by consent. If you do not agree, the Court process may take some time to complete.

Whether you agree or not, the rules governing the division of assets and financial resources are complex, and you should seek legal advice from us before making a final decision about how they will be divided.



ADVICE RESOURCE LINKS:
Applications
Divorce
Children and Parenting
Property Settlement
Superannuation
Pre-Nuptial Agreements
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