Separation & Divorce

Separation is when you and your partner stop living together in a domestic or marriage-like relationship. This can occur whilst you are still living together or if one party leaves your home.

Divorce is the legal ending of marriage. You can apply to the court for a divorce either jointly or on your own Application.

A divorce does not finalise issues relating to children and/or property matters. These arrangements must be finalised and documented separately. See ‘Parenting’ and ‘Dividing your property’ (links below) for more information.

A divorce is the legal dissolution of your marriage. 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 grant of Australia citizenship; or
  • ordinarily live in Australia and have done so for 12 months immediately before filing for divorce.

You will need to satisfy the court that you and your spouse have lived separately for at least 12 months, and that there is no reasonable likelihood of resuming your relationship.

It is possible to live together in the same home and still be separated. However, if this is the case, you will also need to include a sworn statement confirming that you have been separated for at least 12 months, despite continuing to live under the one roof.

The team at NFL can help you throughout the divorce process, by:

  • providing practical advice on how to complete your application;
  • drafting your Application for Divorce; and/or
  • representing you at your divorce hearing (should you be required to attend court).

The granting of a divorce order does not finalise property and/or maintenance matters, or parenting arrangements for your children. We can also advise you in relation to these areas before you file your divorce application.

Time limits

It is important to be aware that any application for financial orders (ie court orders relating to property and/or maintenance claims) must:

  • be filed within 12 months after the divorce has become absolute (this is one month after the divorce has been granted) if you were married; or
  • be filed within two years following the end of your relationship, if you were in a domestic relationship.

Of course, you may resolve your financial matters at any time prior to the conclusion of those time periods.

In each case, you may be able to apply for financial orders outside of these time limits, provided certain conditions are met. Our team can advise you on what options are available to you.