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How long after Divorce can you remarry in Australia

So how long after Divorce can you remarry in Australia really?

You should allow not less than 4-6 months for this process to occur, particularly if your former spouse is uncooperative or whereabouts are unknown or difficult to establish. 

There are a number of things you will need to know to finalise your divorce, and you will find out how long after divorce can you then remarry in Australia.

Marriage Certificate

Table of Contents

Divorce and getting remarried 


So you are keen to get married again. But need things have not quite been finalised yet?

How long after divorce can you remarry in Australia?

You should allow not less than 4-6 months for this process to occur, particularly if your former spouse is uncooperative or whereabouts are unknown or difficult to establish. 

Under Australian law you are not able to re-marry until your prior marriage has been finalised by the final Decree of Divorce or the death of your spouse.

It is not uncommon to have that ‘oh no’ moment when you realise that you have fallen in love and just booked in your wedding day.

You then realise that either you or your former spouse have not taken the necessary steps to finalise the previous marriage and seek a divorce.

Commonly, people confuse having property settlement orders made with the legal ending of the marriage.

It is therefore crucial to take steps to obtain your divorce from a previous spouse if you plan to re-marry.

So After The Divorce Is Made, What Next? 


Some people might ask a starting question as to what getting a divorce really means.

The simple answer would be that you are no longer married, or equally obviously, that you are then entitled to re-marry

(most people wish to avoid the stigma of being called a bigamist 😊).

Divorce is a two-step process. First there is the divorce hearing where an initial Decree of Divorce is made.

Then one month and one day later a final decree (order) is made.

This is where the divorce is complete and you can re-marry.

However, getting divorced does have an impact in a number of other areas and we will discuss each of these in turn. 

Divorce and Your Estate planning – Wills and Enduring Power of Attorney 



Just as getting married revokes your then Will (unless it is made in contemplation of the marriage) getting a divorce has a similar effect.

Upon the final Decree of Divorce being made your existing Will in so far as applies to your former spouse receiving specific gifts or acting as your general executor are revoked.

Your former spouse can still be a Trustee for property where the ultimate beneficiary includes the children of you and your former spouse. 

It is therefore important as part of the divorce process to ensure that your wishes are protected, and you should prepare a new Will ensuring that the beneficiaries you wish to now receive your Estate following your divorce can lawfully do so and appropriate executor/s (the Will “manager”) are appointed.  


Enduring Power of Attorney 


It is quite commonly forgotten that your former spouse may be your Attorney and that your Enduring Power of Attorney has been sitting in your cupboard or in a solicitor’s office for years.

Similar to your Will when your divorce is finalised, it will invalidate your Enduring Power of Attorney to the extent any power is given to your former spouse.

This means you should again review this document immediately and ensure that you have valid Attorneys who can act on your behalf to manage financial and health matters should the need arise in future.

The consequences of not updating your Enduring Power of Attorney may mean that your family may need to make a lengthy and time-consuming application to a Tribunal for someone to be appointed to look after you in the event of your incapacity in the future.

This can cause delay in your care and unnecessary expense.  

Australian passport

Divorce and Change of Name 


A significant number of Australian women who marry adopt the name of their husband upon marriage.

When separation occurs it is not uncommon that the wife will wish to revert back to her maiden name, or prior name if she has changed her name more than once.

In the case of a couple having a hyphenated name they may wish to simply revert back to their original name.

Whilst this can be done informally with some documentation, unless you are formally divorced you may not be able to update important documents, such as your driver’s licence or passport, without producing the divorce certificate. 

If you wish to revert to your maiden name getting your name changed on your driver’s licence first is a good start. Each state has slightly different requirements, detailed below: – 

Queensland Driver’s Licence You will need to produce your original Marriage Certificate.

It’s a good idea to have some copies certified by a solicitor or Justice of the Peace as well, so that you can show them the original and leave a certified copy.

If you can’t find your Marriage Certificate, you can order one from the Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages.  

New South Wales Driver’s Licence You can use your Marriage Certificate or Divorce Order and will also need to take your vehicle registration papers.  

All other states Driver’s Licence – In Victoria, Tasmania, Western Australia, the Northern Territory, ACT, and South Australia they will require your old licence and either your Marriage Certificate or Divorce Order. 

Passports – Changing the name of your passport is similar to a driver’s licence and the same throughout Australia.

It will be easier to change your passport after you have changed your driver’s licence, but you can do it with just your Marriage Certificate.

If your passport does not expire for at least 2 years, you can change your name free of charge by producing in addition the Certificate of Divorce.

As a word or warning if you are a traveller, time your name change carefully.

If you have international flights booked in your married name if you change your passport, you may not be able to use that booking.

Many airlines also may not allow a change of name to an existing booking.  

Divorce and Property Settlement 


We have you covered here. We offer our very own Online Property Settlement Service

Your property settlement (division of assets and liabilities between separated spouses) and your divorce are not related except in one important way.

Whilst most people commonly resolve their property division before they get divorced, in some cases perhaps due to lack of funds to pay out existing mortgages, property continues to be held jointly for several years after separation.

This is also the case with jointly run business ventures.

Accordingly, you may be wishing to contemplate getting divorced before you finalise your property settlement matters.

There is one downside of this in that there is a 12-month rule which simply stated means that after your final Decree of Divorce is made and the divorce certificate is issued you have 12 months to then have finalised your property settlement affairs or formally commenced, in a Court, an application for property settlement.

Otherwise, you will need “Leave” (or permission) of the Court to have a property settlement at all.

Leave is not always granted by the Court depending on the circumstances of why the ‘delay’ in filing in Court for the property settlement has occurred.

Accordingly, it is important to note, preferably in writing, time limits which may apply. 

A Final Word 


Getting divorced means a fresh start and the ability to plan your life in relation to your Will, Power of Attorney and what name you use.

Addressing these things promptly can avoid future problems developing and the satisfaction in taking control of your life.  

If you have any enquiries about the divorce process or starting your divorce application, please contact us by email to: 

Geoff Ebert and the Team at Your Divorce