Application for Divorce When Overseas


Many people believe that they are unable to file for divorce in Australia if they currently reside overseas.

This is not necessarily the case.


Divorce in Australia


In order to apply for divorce in Australia, either the applicant or their spouse must:

  1. Regard Australia as home and intend to live indefinitely in Australia as an Australian citizen or resident;
  2. Be an Australian citizen by birth or descent;
  3. Be an Australian citizen by grant of Australian citizenship; or
  4. Ordinarily live in Australia and have done so for 12 months immediately before filing for divorce.

The parties must also satisfy the Court that they have been separated for at least 12 months.

This is a requirement for divorce in Australia.

The applicant must provide the Court with a copy of the marriage certificate.

If married overseas, the overseas marriage certificate will need to be translated into English by a registered translator.


Divorce Applications


There are two types of divorce applications that can be made in Australia; a sole application or a joint application.

A sole application is where either spouse applies for divorce.

A joint application is where both parties to the marriage apply for divorce.

Once a divorce application has been prepared, the applicant will be required to swear or affirm that the facts and circumstances set out in the application are true.

If it is a sole application, the applicant will need to make arrangements to serve the application on their spouse.


Overseas Applicant


If the applicant currently resides overseas, they can swear or affirm their affidavit (a written statement) before one of the following:

  1. Notary public who is exercising their function in that country; or
  2. An Australian Diplomatic Officer or an Australian Consulate Officer; or
  3. A commissioner of the High Court of Australia who is authorised to administer oaths or affirmations in that country; or
  4. A commissioner of the Supreme Court of a State or Territory for taking affidavit who is empowered and authorised to act in that country.

If a party to a marriage is making a sole application for divorce and there is a child or children of the marriage under the age of 18 years, the applicant or his or her solicitor will be required to attend the hearing.

Joint applications do not require attendance at the hearing.

At the hearing, the Court will issue a decree that the applicant has met the legal requirements to file the divorce application.

After one month and one day, the divorce order will take legal effect and become final.


Contact Us


For more information, contact us at Bambrick Legal today. We offer a free, no-obligation 15-min consultation for all enquiries.

You can also read more about our Family services here.

Related Blog – How Long Does a Divorce Take in Australia?

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