Know About The Jurisdictional Grounds For Divorce Proceedings In Australia

March 23, 2022    divorcelawyersperthwa
Know About The Jurisdictional Grounds For Divorce Proceedings In Australia

Australia believes in ‘no-fault divorce. It means that while granting the divorce, the Australian Court does not look for the reasons for ending the marriage. None of the parties in marriage is expected to prove that the other did something which has caused the dissolution of the marriage. 

The only ground for divorce needed is that the marriage has ended and by no chance, any of the parties will consider getting back together.

Court Jurisdiction

The Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia have the jurisdiction to deal with divorce cases. It is under Part VI of the Family Law Act 1975.The divorce proceeding in Australia does not take into account the issues such as financial support, property division, arrangement for children, etc. They just provide a formal recognition that the marriage has ended. Divorce lawyers Perth WA can give you more details.

Can I apply for a divorce?

As per the rules, you can apply for a divorce in Australia even if you did not marry in Australia. However, the evidence that you were married in Australia will not suffice the grounds of jurisdiction for getting an Australian divorce. 

Any of the parties to a marriage can apply to the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia for a divorce. Sometimes, both parties apply jointly. You can lodge an online application or use a hard copy form. It may also warrant a fee. If the divorce application is made by one spouse, then it is called a “sole application”. If the spouse is in Australia, the divorce documents must be presented to the other spouse at least 28 days before and if the spouse is in a foreign country, then the timeline is 42 days. 

For the Federal Circuit Court of Australia to have divorce grant jurisdiction, one of the spouses must be able to establish a connection with Australia. Their marriage and the date on which they filed the Divorce application, must show their connection to Australia.

Best divorce lawyers Perth help you show the Australian connection. One of the parties in the marriage needs to fulfil at least one of the certain requirements, as per section 39 of the Family Law Act 1975. 

To apply for a divorce in Australia, you or your spouse need to fulfil the following requirements:

  • One of the parties in marriage is an Australian citizen by birth or descent
  • They are an Australian citizen by getting the Australian citizenship
  • They treat Australia as their home and intend to live in Australia for the rest of their life

You need to prove to the Court that you and your spouse have been living separately for at least 12 months. They also need to satisfy the court that there is no likelihood of resuming their married life. It is also possible that they are living together in the same house but are separated. This is known as remaining separated but living in the same house.

The Court is stringent when it comes to the ground of jurisdiction. The court warrants the parties to provide them detailed information to support their Application for Divorce if the same is based on just one of the above criteria. This also holds especially when none of the parties in marriage is an Australian citizen. In the case of a sole Application for Divorce, when a party is relying on the other party to fulfil one of the requirements, then it becomes extremely challenging to establish jurisdiction. It becomes difficult if the other party in the marriage is not cooperating and not providing necessary documents as proof of one of the requirements. Divorce solicitor Perth can assist you here with the best advice.

More details

  1. Also, same-sex married couples have the same norms. They are also treated in the same manner as other married couples. Even they can apply for a divorce if their marriage has been recognized in Australia. They are also expected to meet the requirements for divorce as per the Family Law Act 1975.
  2. If you married in a foreign country but your foreign marriage is recognized in Australia as per the Part VA of the Marriage Act 1961, you will have to provide a copy of your marriage certificate to the Court. If the marriage certificate is not in English, you can upload the English translation of the marriage certificate. The certificate needs to be accompanied by an affidavit of translation of the marriage certificate. You can get it from a certified translator.
  3. For couples that have children aged under 18, the court will grant a divorce only if the court is satisfied that the parents have made proper arrangements for them. You will have to provide information about your children, how much time you spend with them, education and health details, etc.


The divorce lawyers in Perth can help you in this regard. If you have applied for the divorce and waiting for the proper documents and information to provide to the Court, your lawyer may suggest the next course of action.

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