May 3, 2023

There is a common misconception surrounding divorce in Australia – that your spouse can’t divorce you if you don’t sign the divorce papers.

There are two ways in Australia that an Application for Divorce can be made.

The first way, and probably the most cost effective and amicable way, is for a married couple to make an Application for Divorce jointly and both sign the application.

The other way an Application for Divorce can be made if one party to the marriage refuses to sign a joint Application is for one party to file an Application for Divorce with the Court without the signature of the other party. This is commonly referred to as a ‘sole’ application.

If a sole Application for Divorce is made by one party, the Application has to be served on the other party. There are specific requirements for proper service of the Application on the other party and the Court must be satisfied that these requirements have been met before the Divorce Order can be made.

If you have been served with an Application for Divorce by your spouse, it is important that you take the Application seriously.

Once an Application is filed, the Court will set a Hearing Date for a Registrar to review the Application. There are certain circumstances where the Court will require the parties to attend the hearing. One of them being where there has been a sole Application made and there are children to the marriage that are under 18 years of age.

Although you cannot oppose the Divorce unless it has been less than 12 months since you separated, you may wish to file a Response to correct any inaccuracy in the Application for Divorce filed by your spouse. If a Divorce Order is granted by the court, it will come into effect one month and one day from the date of the Order.

It is important to obtain advice as to the impact a Divorce Order may have on your parenting or property matters and your Will and Estate Planning arrangements. Remember – a Divorce is separate to a property settlement with your spouse.

If you have been served with an Application for Divorce, our expert solicitors at Shipton & Associates can help you navigate through this process and provide you with further information about divorce, children and property matters. Please feel free to contact us on 9976 5222.