In Western Australia, married parties are divorced as soon as the Family Court of Western Australia court makes a decree of divorce. You can apply to the court together (joint application) or by yourself (sole application). According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, most couples choose to apply for divorce together by filing a joint application. There are a few requirements to be met before you can apply.
First, you need to show that you have been separated. You must be separated for a total of at least 12 months but you can resume your relationship for short periods of time.
You need to show the court that you have enough of a connection to Western Australia to apply for divorce. In broad terms, living in Western Australia is enough, but there are other ways you can show this connection.
You’ll need to pay the court’s filing fee. If you are making a sole application, you’ll also need to serve a copy of the filed application on your spouse and file confirmation of service with the Family Court.
Once you file your application with the court, the court will set a hearing date. You can choose to attend the hearing. If you choose not to attend the hearing, the court will consider the application based on the documents you filed with them.
If everything goes well at the hearing, the court will issue a ‘decree nisi’ of divorce and in one month, it will become absolute.
You will then have 12 months to commence any action to formalise your financial separation. Divorce doesn’t otherwise affect your financial affairs. You’ll need to file further documents with the Family Court or enter into a Binding Financial Agreement with your former spouse to achieve financial separation.