What does “no-fault divorce” mean in Australia?

Since the introduction of the Family Law Act, 1975 the parties to a marriage are entitled to a divorce if they can establish that they have lived separate and apart for a period of 12 months and that the relationship has irretrievably broken down.

It is the Family Law Act, 1975 which has established the principle of “no-fault divorce” in Australian law. That is, the court need not consider any factors that may have led to the breakdown of the marriage. This is very different to what the position was prior to 1975 where grounds to establish an entitlement to a divorce needed to be proven. Such grounds would include adultery, desertion, refusal to consummate the marriage, drunkenness, imprisonment and the like. Fortunately, we no longer require private investigators to spy through people’s bedroom windows to recover the evidence necessary to establish the grounds for divorce.

Once the court is satisfied that the marriage has irretrievably broken down and that the parties have lived separately and apart for a period of 12 months, the court will grant the application for divorce.

In the event that the parties are living separate and apart under the one roof, affidavit evidence would be required to establish the irretrievable breakdown of the relationship and that the parties continuing to reside together was based on some financial or parenting reason.

Brydens Lawyers are experts in all Family Law matters. For the purpose of any divorce, custody or property dispute contact Brydens Lawyers today to see one of our expert Family Law Solicitors. At Brydens Lawyers #WE DO Family Law.