How do I get a divorce if we were married overseas?

Published 14 May 2018

If you travelled to Fiji to get married or have immigrated as a married couple from the United Kingdom, do you have to go back to these nations to get divorced?

Here's everything you need to know about divorce if you were married outside Australia.

Determining your eligibility 

It is possible get divorced if the marriage took place overseas. However, there are certain eligibility criteria that you'll need to meet.

In short, either you or your former partner will need to be Australian citizens/residents or both parties will regard Australia as your permanent home. For example, if you are an Australian citizen and married a British citizen in London, you could get divorced in Sydney. The same goes for recent immigrants, both of foreign citizenship, who now call Australia home.

Of course, if you have any questions about whether or not you'd be eligible to get divorced in Australia, our expert family lawyers are happy to help.

Certificating overseas documents

A potential roadblock to completing a divorce for an overseas marriage are the documents. If you got married in a country where English is not an official language and the documents aren't in English, they will not be accepted by Australian authorities.

As a result, you'll need to complete a separate process to get an accurate translation of the marriage certificate. This will need to include an affidavit from the translator which states their qualifications to translate and all the various copies of the marriage certificate. The level of oversight is similar to when documents are signed off by a lawyer or a Justice of the Peace.

This said, it could be hard to find someone appropriate to do the translation. Our team of family lawyers have a network of parties who can help in this regard - and will work with foreign embassies and consulates to locate someone to translate the documents. With this in mind, it's best to allow as much time as possible for this to be completed, especially if you want to get remarried in the near future.

If you would like more information about the divorce process or starting divorce proceedings, get in touch with the expert team at Malouf Solicitors today.

Please call us on 02 8833 2000 to speak with a lawyer

I remain extremely grateful for Maloufs legal representation related to my financial management of the estate of my brother and for your continuing help and advice in this matter. As an aside, I always recommend Maloufs to my friends and family members who are seeking the best legal representation - only last week, I strongly advised a close family friend that their best interests would be served by arranging an appointment at your Parramatta offices.
John of Parramatta NSW

Parramatta Office:

Level 5/146 Marsden Street
Parramatta NSW 2124

PO Box 945
Parramatta NSW 2124

Phone: 02 8833 2000
Fax: 02 9687 3697

mail@maloufsolicitors.com.au