Family & divorce lawyer
Dr Craig Jensen Lawyers provide legal advice and guidance to people regarding their legal obligations, rights and options in the event of a breakdown of their marriage or partnership.
If you are considering separating from your partner, or you have already separated, seek legal advice immediately. Dr Craig Jensen Lawyers can support you in navigating the complexities of Australian laws regarding divorce and separation. They can also assist with identifying your legal rights and how the law applies to your circumstances.
FAQs on Divorce and Family Law
You can apply for a divorce in Australia if either you or your spouse:
- Regard Australia as your home and intend to live in Australia indefinitely, or
- Are an Australian citizen by birth, descent or by a grant of Australian citizenship, or
- Ordinarily live in Australia and have done so for 12 months immediately before filing for divorce.
You need to satisfy the Court that you and your spouse have been separated for at least 12 months prior to your application for divorce and that there is no reasonable likelihood of resuming married life. It is possible to live together in the same home and still be separated.
If you have been separated for more than 12 months, there a few opportunities to oppose a divorce application - you can only oppose the divorce when:
- there has not been 12 months separation as alleged in the application, or
- the Court does not have jurisdiction.
If you do not want the divorce granted, you must complete and file a Response to Divorce application and appear in person on the hearing date. You need to set out the grounds on which you seek the dismissal in the Response to Divorce.
If you disagree with details in the Application for Divorce, you may file a Response to Divorce. You will need to state the facts that you disagree with in the Response to Divorce. You do not need to attend the hearing.
If you want to file a Response to Divorce, you need to file it:
- if served in Australia – within 28 days of the application being served on you, or
- if served outside of Australia – within 42 days of the application being served on you.
No children under 18
If there is no child of the marriage aged less than 18 years, you are not required to attend the court hearing. This applies to both sole and joint applications.
Joint application with children under 18
If you have made a joint application, you and your spouse are not required to attend the court hearing (even if there is a child of the marriage aged under 18).
Sole application with children under 18
If you have made a sole application and there is a child of the marriage aged under 18 years, you (the applicant) are required to attend the court hearing unless circumstances prevent you from attending (see below).
If there is no Response to Divorce, the other party is not required to attend, although they may do if they wish.