How long does it take to get a divorce?
So you have been separated for 12 consecutive months and have finally met that requirement to get divorced. But now that you are here, how long does it actually take to get a divorce?
Put simply, it will be around 4 months if everything is agreed upon; naturally, if one party disagrees, the procedure will take longer and produce more stress. There are extra requirements if you are separated under the one roof, but that should not extend the timeframe.
For your divorce hearing date to proceed, a date needs to be set first. The availability of the Court is outside of both your and your lawyer’s hands and plays a role in the length of time it takes to get a divorce. On average, Courts will list your matter 2 months after filing to give you time to serve the documents.
Once you have filled the details and Application for Divorce on the Commonwealth Courts Portal, you will need to serve the documents onto the other party to let them know of your decision to legally end the marriage. Without proof of service, the hearing will not proceed and will be adjourned to a later date. The reason for this is because it is important for every married person to be aware of any impending change to their marital status. The documents must be served at least 28 days before the hearing if the other party is in Australia or at least 42 days before the hearing date if the other party is overseas.
Once all of your filed documents have been successfully served on the other party, as long as they do not disagree with the procedure, the matter will progress fairly smoothly. In the case where there are no children under 18, the parties do not need to make an appearance and the divorce order will be made in everyone’s absence. That should end the marriage officially, yes? No. It takes an additional 1 month and 1 day for your divorce to be made final, at which point the Divorce Order is made available on the Commonwealth Courts Portal for downloading. You cannot get married again until after the 1 month and 1 day period has expired.
The conclusion of this period also then kickstarts a time limit of 12 months for property proceedings. Once that time limit runs down, you are generally barred from seeking the Court’s help in getting a property settlement unless certain exceptions apply to you.