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Our experienced team of solicitors understand that Family Law is a daunting and highly emotional area of law. Galea & Faustin Solicitors point of difference is our team of passionate lawyers and support staff strive to achieve your goals, fiercely protect your interest and ensure you are given the chance to be heard.

Two separate wedding rings next to the w

Divorce is the legal ending of your marriage. To be eligible for a divorce, you need to satisfy the court that your marriage has irretrievably broken down.


This is established when the parties have separated and continue to be separated for a continuous period of 12 months prior to making an application for divorce. The Family Law Act 1975 operates on a no-fault principle whereby the courts do not consider the reasons for the marriage breakdown. 

What is the legal meaning of a divorce?

Eligibility to apply

To be eligible for a divorce application, the court must be satisfied that the parties have been separated for a continuous period of 12 months and there is no prospect of the parties reconciling. You must also fit into one of  the following categories:  

  1. Be an Australian citizen; or

  2. Live in Australia and considers Australia to be your permanent home; or

  3. You ordinarily live in Australia and has done so for at least 12 months prior to making the application.

Steps in applying

Once an application for divorce is completed, the application must be served upon your spouse. You cannot personally serve the divorce. Our firm usually uses a process server to undertake this task. Once the divorce has been served, we must prove to the court that service has occurred by filing an affidavit proving signature and an affidavit of service. If those requirements are satisfied at the hearing, the Court will grant an order for divorce and the divorce will only become final one month and one day thereafter at which time the Court will issue a certificate.

Contact us today for a confidential conversation regarding your Family Law matter.

If any of the above has resonated with you we encourage you to reach out to our experienced Narre Warren Family Lawyers today for a confidential conversation. We may be reached by the above 'contact us' box or alternatively please call us on (03) 9117 6189.

Frequently asked questions

What if I get back with my partner during separation?

You must be separated for at least 12 months to be eligible to a divorce. If you get back with your partner for no more than three months, you do not have to restart the 12 months separation. If you get back with your partner for more than 3 months then the 12 months’ separation period will have to restart. For example, if you have been separated for 5 months and you reconcile with your partner for almost three months and then separated for 7months again, the court will consider the period of 5 months and 7months thereafter towards the 12 months’ separation period.

What are the legal implications of separating under the same roof?

You can obtain a divorce whilst being separated under the same roof. However, you will need to prove to the court that you have been leading a separate life for at least 12 months. The Court will consider the following factors:

  • Whether you still have a sexual relationship with each other;
  • Whether you sleep in the same bed;
  • Whether you cook separate meals and undertake your own home duties;
  • Whether you have separate bank accounts and finances; and
  • Whether friends and family are aware of your separation;

Can I still make a divorce application if I have been married for less than two years?

If you have been married for less than two years and you wish to apply for a divorce, Both parties need to attend counselling and file a counselling certificate with the divorce application. There are circumstances where counselling is not appropriate, for example where there has been domestic violence or if you do not where your spouse is. In the event you attend counselling and your spouse does not, you can still obtain a divorce. If however, you both do not attend counselling, you will need to seek permission from the court to apply for a divorce.

Thinking of remarrying?

Australia is a monogamous society. You cannot remarry until your divorce is final. It is important that you have a divorce certificate before you consider remarrying.