Under Part VI of the Family Law Act 1975, the Federal Circuit Court of Australia has the jurisdiction to deal with the dissolution of marriage (divorce). The only ground spouses can file an application for divorce is when the marriage has broken down and there is no reasonable likelihood of getting back together. When you file a divorce application, you need to prove to the court that you and your spouse have been separated for over 12 months and there is no reasonable likelihood or possibility of ever resuming married life. However, you and your spouse can live in the same house and still be separated.
A joint application of divorce is when spouses file a divorce application together and both spouses are joint applicants in the case. But if only one spouse files an application for divorce, it is known as a sole application and you become the sole applicant and your spouse is the respondent.
You can either get a lawyer to file an application of divorce for you or you could prepare it by yourself. To prepare an application for divorce by yourself, you can use any of the online divorce sites.
To be eligible to file a divorce application in Australian Capital Territory, you must prove the following:
- Australia is your home and you will continue to live in Australia.
- You are a citizen of Australia by birth or decent (i.e. one of your parents was born in Australia).
- That you reside in Australia and have been residing in Australia for 12 months immediately before filing for an application of divorce.
- You have proof of marriage i.e. marriage certificate.
- You and your spouse have been separated for over 12 months.
- Your marriage has broken down and there is no possibility of getting back together with your spouse.
If you intend to prepare a divorce by yourself using the online divorce sites, you can register with any of the Commonwealth Courts Portal and e-file (electronic file), complete the online interactive application for divorce and pay the filing fee.
Once you meet the criteria mentioned above, you are eligible to file an application for divorce.
Also, it is advised that you seek legal advice before filing an application for divorce because your lawyer would help inform you about your rights and responsibilities and also how the law would apply in your case.