To obtain a divorce you need to have been separated for 12 months. Once you have been separated for 12 months you can apply for a divorce and, provided there is no likelihood of reconciliation, the divorce order will be made. There are particular rules that govern the calculation of the 12 month separation requirement where parties have reconciled and then separated again. There is no longer any requirement to show “fault” to obtain a divorce.
Applications for divorce are filed in the Federal Circuit Court of Australia. The Application can be filed by one party alone or jointly by the parties. When your Application is filed you are given a hearing date. The application must then be served on the other party.
You will need to attend the Court if you are applying alone and you have children under 18. Otherwise the Court can, if you want, deal with the application in your absence.
At the hearing the Court will assess whether the ground for divorce has been established (irretrievable breakdown of the marriage) and whether the other party has been properly served. The Court will also make sure that there are adequate arrangements in place for the care, welfare and development of any children of the marriage. There are also particular requirements to meet in situations where the parties lived separately and apart under the one roof and where the Application is made less than 2 years after a marriage.
So long as you have made out the ground for divorce, can prove to the Court that your Application was properly served and can show the Court that there are adequate arrangements in place for any children of the marriage, your application can proceed successfully. Your spouse need not attend at the hearing.