CAN I GET A DIVORCE IN AUSTRALIA IF I WAS MARRIED OVERSEAS?

Short answer – yes! Provided you meet certain criteria, detailed further below…

What is divorce and am I eligible?

Divorce is quite simply the process of legally ending a marriage. It does not deal with parenting matters in detail, or property settlement.

If you were married overseas in accordance with the laws of that country, you can apply for a divorce in Australia if either you or your spouse:

  • Regard Australia as your home and intend to live indefinitely in Australia are an Australian citizen or resident; or
  • Are an Australia citizen by birth or descent; or
  • Are an Australia citizen by grant of an Australia citizenship; or
  • Ordinarily live in Australia and have done so for 12 months immediately before filing for divorce.

In Australia, the court does not have to look at why the marriage ended as it is a “no-fault” divorce system. However, you will also need to satisfy the court that:

  • You have been separated for 12 months; and
  • There is no reasonable likelihood of you getting back together.

Other things to know:

  •  It is possible to live together in the same home and still be separated. This is called separation under one roof.
  • If there are children under 18 years, you will also need to show that proper arrangements have been made for them before the divorce is granted.

My marriage certificate is not in English, can I still use it in my Application for Divorce?

You must provide the Court with a copy of your marriage certificate.

If your marriage certificate is not in English, you will need to file an English translation of your marriage certificate and an affidavit from the translator. We can assist you with organising this.

I got divorced overseas. Is my divorce recognised in Australia?

If your divorce was made in accordance with the laws of that country then yes, your divorce will be recognised in Australia.

I am in a same-sex couple and we were married before same-sex marriage was legalised in Australia – can we apply for Divorce in Australia now?

Short answer – yes you can!

From 9 December 2017, same-sex married couples are treated the same as other married couples in Australia. At Umbrella Family Law, we treat all people and their relationships equally, so we were very happy when same-sex marriage was (finally) legalised in Australia!

It now does not matter whether the marriage happened before or after 9 December 2017 or overseas, you can still apply for a Divorce in Australia if you meet the requirements for Divorce under the Family Law Act 1975, regardless of when the marriage was formalised.

If you need help making an Application for Divorce or would like to have a chat about the divorce process and options, please contact us for an appointment.