There is just one ground for divorce which is the irretrievable breakdown of a marriage. However, the parties must be separated for a continuous period of not less than 12 months immediately preceding the date of filing an application for getting a divorce. This prerequisite may also be satisfied if the parties have been living separately under one roof.

A divorce order does not end the marriage. One month and one day after the divorce order is made a divorce certificate will be issued by the Court. This is when the divorce order takes effect and one is free to remarry if they so choose.

Service upon the respondent must be proved for a divorce order to be granted by the Court. If service cannot be proved the application may be adjourned so that service can be effected and proved to the Court. Other matters such as arrangements for the children of the marriage, property settlement, spousal maintenance, adult child maintenance and child support are independent of a divorce.

Proceedings for property settlement and spousal maintenance must be initiated within 12 months of the granting of a divorce unless the Court grants leave to do otherwise.

Appointments to see our family / divorce lawyers in our Melbourne or Eastern suburbs offices can be made by calling Melbourne 03 9629 7411; or Mount Waverley 03 9550 4600.

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