Family Law
October 26, 2022

There is a different procedure for applying to the Court for a divorce when you have been married for less than two years. This article contains the key information that you need to know.

How are the two years calculated?

The two years are calculated from the date of your marriage to the date of applying to the Court for a divorce.

In order to apply for a divorce, you must have been separated from your spouse for at least 12 months.

What do I do if we have been married for less than two years?

If you are wishing to apply to the Court for a divorce but have been married for less than two years, you must do one of the following:

  • Attend counselling

Parties must attend counselling with a family counsellor or nominated counsellor prior to applying for a divorce with the Court. This is to discuss any possibilities in reconciling with your spouse and whether it is feasible.

You will need to obtain a counselling certificate that states that you and your spouse have discussed the possibility of reconciliation. This certificate must be provided to the Court.

  • Seek permission of the Court to apply for a divorce

If you choose not to attend counselling, you must seek the permission of the Court to apply for a divorce.

To seek permission from the Court, you must file an affidavit with your divorce application.

In the affidavit, you must explain why you have not attended counselling with your spouse and any special circumstances of your case, such as family violence.

Reasons for not attending counselling could be because you cannot locate your spouse, there are risks for family violence or your spouse refuses to attend. 

Do I have to attend Court?

You will only need to attend Court if you have made a sole divorce application and there is a child of the marriage under the age of 18.

In all other circumstances, you will not need to attend Court, so long as you have provided the Court will all the required information in your affidavit.


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