Can I still file for divorce if I haven’t been separated for 12 months?

The short answer is no – the Family Court will not grant a divorce where you and your ex-partner have been separated for less than 12 months.

The long answer is a bit more complicated. While you may have to wait 12 months to apply for divorce, you don’t have to wait that long to sort everything else out. You are able to settle children, property and financial matters as soon as you separate.

What if we get back together?

You are able to reconcile with your partner for up to 3 months before having to restart the 12 month separation period.

What if I’m not sure about how long we’ve been separated, or when we separated?

Separation can be a difficult and complicated process, and every situation is different. You may choose to separate under one roof, decide not to tell anyone until after some time, or have different accounts of when separation occurred. In these situations, you should seek legal advice to clarify your position.

Please note that the above information does not constitute legal advice and every case turns on its own unique facts. If you would like to obtain legal advice about separating or organising a property settlement and making arrangements for your children prior to divorce, please contact Kavanagh Lawyers on 08 6557 5888 or email