Services > Divorce

How long does it take to get a divorce?

In most cases, it usually takes about four months from the filing date of an application for divorce for a final divorce order to be granted.

Some applications take longer; for example, if you do not know your spouse’s current address and there are problems serving your application on your spouse.

When can I apply for a divorce?

You can apply for a divorce when you have lived separately and apart for a period of 12 continuous months prior to the date of application. The Court must also be satisfied that there is no prospect of reconciliation.

A short period of resumed cohabitation is allowed.

We can assist you if you need advice on whether you meet the requirements for separation.

If you have been married for less than 2 years, attempted counselling is compulsory before an order for divorce can be granted.

What if my spouse does not agree to a divorce?

You do not need to have the consent of your spouse to apply for a divorce. You can make an application on your own and serve it on your spouse, or apply jointly with your spouse.

What if I do not know where my spouse lives, or I am too scared to apply for a divorce?

If you do not know your spouse’s current address, or you are affected by family violence we can guide you with your divorce application.

We have experience working with culturally diverse clients, clients who have English as a second language, and clients who are affected by family violence. We know it can be emotionally draining and difficult to take this step. We will manage the process for you in an empathetic and caring manner.

How do I apply for a divorce?

You file an application in the Federal Circuit Court supported by evidence of your marriage and an affidavit setting out relevant information such as date of separation.

There is a Court filing fee for your application unless you satisfy criteria for exemption of the filing fee.

What evidence do I need?

You need to file evidence that you are lawfully married (usually, a certificate of marriage issued by a government authority).

Do I have to be an Australian citizen to get divorced in Australia?

No, but you need to have a sufficient connection with Australia, such as Australian citizenship or residence in Australia.

Do I have to have been married in Australia to divorce in Australia?

If you were married in a country other than Australia you can still apply for divorce in Australia. However, your marriage certificate must be in English or formally translated into English. We can help you with this process.

Children under 18

If you have children under the age of 18 years, you must include details in your application of the arrangements that you and your spouse have made for their health and welfare.

You must also attend the divorce hearing in case the Court needs more information about the children’s situation.

Why is the date of final divorce important?

If you want to apply to Court for orders for property division, financial support or spousal maintenance you need to apply no later than one year from the date of your divorce. If you apply outside of this time limit, the Court may not allow you to make your application.

Once you have been granted a final divorce order, you are free to remarry.

  • Get started with our online system

  • Answer a few questions for an instant, personalised summary of where you stand and how we can help.

  • Save time and money if you book in for an appointment.


More areas to explore: