Time Limits

You may be surprised by the number of people who set a date for their wedding and then suddenly remember that they need to get divorced from their spouse.

Getting divorced takes time. Usually 10 to 12 weeks from filing your Application to the issue of the Divorce Order.

The first step is that you file an Application. If it is a joint Application (see our online divorce service) sometimes it can take time for both parties to sign, particularly if one party is overseas.

See Also: Online Divorce Application Form

The court then lists the matter for hearing. Usually the hearing takes place 6 to 8 weeks after the Application is filed.

You can ask for that period to be shortened, but that is up to the court. If you are the sole Applicant, one of the reasons for the delay between filing your Application and the hearing is that your spouse needs to be served with the Court sealed Application. Your spouse has 28 days from being served with your Application to file a Response to your Application (42 days if they live outside of Australia). If you and your spouse are joint Applicants, you don’t need to serve the Application on your spouse.

At the court hearing, and assuming that everything is ok with your Application, the Court will make the Divorce Order. But it does not become final until 1 month and 1 day later. The Court then issues a sealed Divorce Order. It is possible to request the Court to shorten the period of 1 month and 1 day. It is best if both parties provide their written consent to such a request.

And, don’t forget that you must give your celebrant a Notice of Intended Marriage at least 1 month before the wedding. As soon as the Divorce Order is granted the marriage celebrant may accept the Notice of Intended Marriage.

So, don’t leave applying for divorce until the last minute!

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