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The making of a divorce order

PLEASE NOTE: You only have 12 months after a divorce order takes effect to resolve any issues regarding the division of property or the payment of maintenance or make a separate application to the Court for such orders to be made. You can apply for an extension of time within which to make the application, but the Court may or may not grant you the extension [see Family Law Act 1975 s 43(3)].

When will the divorce order take effect?

Once the Registrar is satisfied that the other party has been served and the twelve month separation period has passed (and any other requirements, such as counselling for short marriages have been met) the Registrar will grant a divorce order. If the parties are present at the hearing, they would thank the Registrar and leave the courtroom.

The divorce order automatically becomes final and takes effect one month and one day later and is usually posted to each of the parties. Technically the parties are still married until the order becomes final, and they cannot remarry until it becomes final.

See Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) s 55(1)(a).

Can the divorce order take effect any faster?

This waiting period can be shortened in special circumstances.

See Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) s 55(2)(b).

What if we get back together?

The Court may rescind (cancel) a divorce order before it becomes final if the parties get back together.

The parties would need to jointly file an Application in a Case.

See Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) s 57.

See also Family Law Rules 2004 r 3.12.

What if the other party gave false evidence and/or forged my signature?

The Court may rescind (cancel) a divorce order before it becomes final if there has been a miscarriage of justice and, if it thinks fit, order that the proceedings be re-heard.

See Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) s 58.

See also Family Law Rules 2004 r 3.12.

Can I appeal against a divorce order?

Yes, you can appeal a divorce order by filing an Application for Review within 28 days of the date of the order.

If either party appeals against the terms of a divorce order, the order be automatically delayed in taking effect until one month after the appeal is heard and determined [see Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) s 55(3)].

No appeal can be made after a divorce order has taken effect and become final [see Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) s 93].

If you are thinking about appealing your divorce order, you should seek legal advice.

You can call our free Legal Help Line on 1300 366 424.

The making of a divorce order  :  Last Revised: Mon Jun 1st 2015
The content of the Law Handbook is made available as a public service for information purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for legal advice. See Disclaimer for details. For free and confidential legal advice in South Australia call 1300 366 424.