Married for less than 2 years and wanting a divorce? What you need to know!

by Resolve Conflict on November 19, 2019

Married for less than 2 years and wanting a divorce_ What you need to know - Resolve Conflict Family LawyersNo one enters into a marriage expecting to get a divorce, especially after a short period of time. However, sometimes marriages just don’t work out.

In the case of a short marriage of less than 2 years there are extra requirements needed on top of the 12 months separation that couples must comply with in order to be granted a divorce.

Related Article: Short Marriage Property Settlement – What You Need To Know

The extra requirement is to either: 

  1.  Attend counselling with a family counsellor or nominated counsellor to discuss the possibility of reconciliation with your spouse. Or;
  2.  If you have not attended counselling, seek permission of the Court to apply for a divorce.

Attend counselling:

If you attend counselling you will need the counsellor to complete a certificate that states you have discussed the possibility of reconciliation.

Note: You need to attach the completed certificate to the back of the Application for Divorce when you file it.

Have Not attended counselling:

If you decide not to see a counsellor then you need to file an affidavit asking the Court for permission to file for divorce.

In your affidavit, you will need to explain:

  1. Why you and your spouse have not attended counselling.

For example, if you cannot locate your spouse, explain the attempts you have made to find them. Or, if your spouse refuses to attend counselling, explain the attempts you have made to invite them to attend.

  1. Any special circumstances of your case.

For example, if there is a history of violence and abuse in the marriage and it is not safe for you to attend counselling with your spouse.

When is the two years calculated from?

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

Note: You and your spouse must also have been separated for at least 12 months before applying for a divorce.

Will I need to go to Court?

Court attendance is only required if you have filed a sole application and there is a child of the marriage aged under 18 years at the time of filing or you have indicated that you wish to attend in the application.


Note: This is general information advice only and does not constitute specific legal advice. If you would like further information in relation to this matter or other legal matters, please contact us on 03 9620 0088 or email


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