Do I Have to Divorce?

In some situations where a married couple has separated, a divorce is necessary. For example, if you would like to remarry, you will have to obtain a divorce from your current spouse. It is important to note that if you have obtained a religious divorce such as a talaq, or an annulment, you will still be required to obtain a divorce from the Federal Circuit Court of Australia before you remarry.

Divorce is also important in relation to the division of your matrimonial property. If you think your spouse may bring a claim for property settlement against you, and you do not want that to happen, then you should obtain a divorce as soon as you meet the requirements. Once your divorce is granted, it will trigger a time limit for you or your spouse to initiate property proceedings. The time limit is 12 months from the date of the divorce.

On the other hand, if you are thinking about bringing a property claim against your spouse then you should not apply for a divorce until your property matter is resolved. Note that to bring a property claim within the 12 month limitation period, you must initiate proceedings in court within that time. It is not enough just to commence negotiations.

Once the time limit of 12 months has passed, the court may still allow you to bring property proceedings but you will have to show reasons for not bringing a claim within 12 months.

If you would like advice about divorce or its effects on your matrimonial property claim, you should consult one of our experienced family law solicitors.

Obtaining a divorce from the Federal Circuit Court of Australia is a lengthy process especially if you are applying as a single applicant and not a joint applicant with your spouse. The Melbourne Registry may take up to five months to hear your application therefore, you should obtain advice about all your options early on in your separation.

The time frames in this article for commencing property proceedings are only for those divorcing following a marriage. Different time frames apply to those separating from a de facto relationship. In that instance, the time period is two years from separation.

If you require legal advice or representation in any legal matter, please contact Armstrong Legal.


Taking the next step and contacting a family lawyer can be scary. Our lawyers will make you feel comfortable so you can talk about your situation. But first, ask yourself, Do I really need a lawyer?


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