Yes, you can apply for a divorce without your wife’s agreement.
The Federal Circuit Court has jurisdiction to hear your divorce application if you or your wife can answer yes to one of the following:
- you or your wife is an Australian citizen; or
- you or your wife regard Australia as home and intend to live in Australia indefinitely; or
- you or your wife ordinarily live in Australia and have done so for 12 months immediately before filing for divorce.
The procedure is that after you file the application for divorce you must serve a sealed copy to your wife. You will need to file an application to dispense with service because you have not been able to locate your wife.
If the court is satisfied that you have exhausted all options to locate your wife the court will order that service be dispensed with. After that the court will hear your application for divorce.
Your divorce will not become final until one month after the hearing.
Please click here to see what evidence you need in support of your application for divorce.
If you click here you will see an answer to a question about the divorce process which you might find useful.
It is very important to remember that you will have 12 months to file for property settlement orders after the divorce order has been granted. It is also important to remember to make a fresh will.
This is a complex area of the law and you should seek further legal advice.