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Divorce for marriages under 2 years

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​If you’ve been less than 2 years, you can get a divorce but you still need to have been separated for 12 months. In addition, you’re required to attend counselling to discuss the possibility of reconciling. You must provide the court with a certificate confirming you’ve attended, or attempted to undergo, counselling.

When does the 2 years start?

The 2 years is calculated form the date you were married, not the date you separated.

Many people make the mistake of thinking this is asking if it’s 2 years since you separated. But this is not the case. It’s strictly from the time you married.

HERE'S HOW TO OBTAIN THE COUNSELLING CERTIFICATE

Step 1 Make an appointment with a counsellor

You can find a counsellor at www.familyrelationships.gov.au or by calling 1800 050 321.

Step 2 Invite your ex to attend counselling

Let your spouse know the time and place of the appointment. Often the counsellor will arrange this for you. If they can’t attend at the that time, a separate appointment can be made. The appointments can be at separate venues when necessary if, for example, your former partner lives some distance away.

If your ex refuses to attend, the counsellor can make a note of this, but you should still keep the appointment. (It won’t matter if your ex doesn’t attend).

Step 3 Obtain the counselling certificate

The counsellor needs to complete and sign the Certificate confirming you’ve attended.

 

If you need a certificate, just send us an email and we’ll be happy to provide you with a blank one for the counsellor to complete.

What if you don’t attend counselling?

​If you don’t attend counselling and obtain the required certificate, you can still ask permission from the court to apply for a divorce.

​You ask for permission by filing an affidavit with your divorce application.

The affidavit needs to explain why you didn’t attend counselling together.

​For example…

  • If you can’t find your spouse, explain what you’ve done to try and locate them.

  • ​Any special circumstances​, such as a history of violence or abuse in your marriage.

​Preparing and filing an affidavit can be a difficult process but here’s something people don’t always realise.

One last option to consider

You can simply wait until 2 years have passed since you were married, and then apply for a divorce.

 

Don’t forget - the 2 years runs from the date you were married, not the date your separated.

Summary

  1. You can get a divorce if you were married less than 2 years.

  2. To do so, you must attend counselling to discuss the possibility of reconciliation with your spouse.

  3. The counsellor must sign a certificate which is attached to your application for divorce.

  4. If you don’t go to counselling with your spouse, you have to ask the court for permission to apply for divorce.

  5. To do this, you’ll need to file an affidavit with your application.

  6. The affidavit needs to explain why you didn’t go to counselling.

  7. Instead of counselling or preparing an affidavit you have one other option…

  8. You could simply wait until 2 years have passed since you were married, and then apply for a divorce.

Don’t waste hundreds or even thousands on a lawyer when you can do your own divorce.

We can easily provide you with everything you need to arrange and manage a simple and straight forward divorce.

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