Can I apply for a Divorce if I am no longer living in Australia?

Melbourne Family Lawyers represents many clients who do not live in Australia.  If you are living overseas, we can still represent you and apply for a Divorce in Australia under certain circumstances.  If any of the following apply, then an Australian Court would have jurisdiction to grant you a Divorce:

  • If you or your spouse is an Australian Citizen; or
  • If you or your spouse is domiciled in Australia (domiciled means the person regards Australia as his/her home and intends to live indefinitely in Australia); or
  • If you or your spouse ordinarily live in Australia and have lived in Australia for at least one year immediately before applying for divorce.

Only one of the above conditions needs to be satisfied to enable us to successfully make a Divorce Application in Australia.  So, for example, if you are a citizen of India and were married five years ago to an Australian Citizen in New Zealand, you would be entitled to apply for a Divorce in Australia even if neither of you are living in Australia now on the basis that your spouse is an Australian citizen.  All we need from you is a copy of the Marriage Certificate and current addresses for both parties, as we need to serve your spouse with the Divorce Application.  If you do not know the current address for your spouse, we may be able to make a special application to the court to allow us to notify your spouse about the Divorce Application by some other means (e.g. email or Facebook).

If you engage Melbourne Family Lawyers to act on your behalf, you do not need to come to Australia at all in order to obtain a Divorce.  We can obtain instructions from you by telephone, email and skype; email court documents you are required to sign; file the Divorce Application at the Court and appear at Court on your behalf on the date of the Divorce Hearing.

In all cases you must declare that the marriage having broken down irretrievably and that you have been separated for at least 12 months.  If you have any children under the age of 18 years, it is also necessary to satisfy the Court that proper arrangements have been made for those children.  All of these issues will be covered by us in the Divorce Application we prepare on your behalf.

Even if you live outside of Melbourne or Australia, we will be able to apply for a Divorce on your behalf without you needing to come to Melbourne. 

Please note that if you want to finalise property settlement or parenting issues, you do not need to wait until you have been separated for 12 months- these issues should usually be dealt with as soon as possible as they are separate to the Divorce Application.  

If you need to obtain a Divorce or have any other Family Law issue, telephone Melbourne Family Lawyers now on +613 9670 9677 or click on the Make an Enquiry button on the Melbourne Family Lawyers website .

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