How long does a divorce take?
A tricky question to answer… how long is a piece of string?
Divorce is different to a separation. Separation is the time when the relationship ends, whereas the divorce is the certificate that confirms that you are no longer legally married. You cannot remarry without first getting divorced.
File a divorce
These days, an application for divorce can be completed and filed online. You will also need to have a copy of your marriage certificate. If you do not have a copy, you will need to obtain a copy or you will need to file an Affidavit explaining this to the court.
You can file the divorce application once you have been separated for at least 12 months, and this can include a period of ‘separation under one roof’.
Once you file a divorce, you will be given a court date when the court will consider the application. This can be anywhere between 3 weeks to 3 months after filing.
You can file either a joint application, where both you and your ex sign the document, or a sole application. If you file a sole application, you will need to serve the Application on your ex so they are aware of it. If you have difficulty locating your spouse, you may need to ask the court to consider alternate means of service, and you should seek legal advice.
Children during a divorce
If there are no children of the relationship, there is no need for either you or your ex to attend court, and if the court is satisfied you have been separated for 12 months, they will grant the divorce.
If there are children under 18, either one or both parties should attend court to confirm there are appropriate arrangements in place for the care of children.
If the court is satisfied you have been separated 12 months, and there are appropriate care arrangements for children, a divorce will be granted.
The divorce will become final one month and one day after the day on which the divorce is granted.
Assuming there are no issues with service of the documents, or the date of separation, from the point of filing a divorce until it is made final is generally between 8 weeks to 5 months.
If you wish to discuss your divorce in detail, or you would like legal advice about a divorce or separation, please contact our office on (07) 3221 4300 to arrange an initial consultation with one of our experienced solicitors.
For more information about the difference between separation and divorce, check out our article here.