Filing for property matters - question on date of divorce

Australia's #1 for Law
Join 150,000 Australians every month. Ask a question, respond to a question and better understand the law today!
FREE - Join Now

GlassHalfFull

Well-Known Member
28 August 2018
480
45
714
Haven't been able to get a clear answer here or online. My ex and I haven't finalised our property settlement (there's zero incentive for her to settle since she has 99% of the property already). I have recently discovered that we have either exceeded the 12 month period since the divorce, or we are nearly there, depending on the definition. I am still confused about exactly when a divorce becomes 'finalised'. Our divorce hearing was on the 18th of August 2020. Therefore it's almost 2 weeks past the one year mark. However, my understanding was that a divorce is only final 30 days AFTER the hearing date. But when I look at the Comm Courts portal, the application says '18 August 2020' under the column "finalised". However, in the divorce orders themselves, they say:

THE COURT ORDERS:
6. A divorce order be made, such divorce order to take effect and thereby terminate the marriage on the
nineteenth day of September 2020

Should I take it to mean that I have until September 19th 2021 at the very latest to file for property orders? I'm planning to self-represent given our asset pool is relatively small, no house, just minor chattels and super.

Out of interest, does anyone know just how difficult it is to file outside of the 12 month period? I understand you need to prove hardship and/or good reasons. Are these symbolic barriers to discourage late filing or are the courts quite strict on adhering to that? Or is it going to be yet another case of each judge has their own way of handling things...?
 

GlassHalfFull

Well-Known Member
28 August 2018
480
45
714
And Yes you have 12 months from the date of the orders.
Thank you! Just to clarify though, 12 months from the date of the hearing/date that the orders were made (August 18 2020), or date the marriage was terminated (September 19 2020)?

See, I think the wording of the orders are quite confusing. Effectively what it says is that orders were made on August 18 to make a new order for the termination of the marriage which took effect on September 19...? Or is my interpretation wrong?
 

GlassHalfFull

Well-Known Member
28 August 2018
480
45
714
Got it, again, thanks.

Easy to get confused though, you said it was 12 months from the orders but in effect, it's 12 months + 1 month from the date of the orders. 😉

And in trying to Google the question prior to posting here, I found websites that said that it was 12 months from the date of finalisation, and yet the Commonwealth Courts Portal says that my divorce was finalised on the 18th of August even though that's apparently not technically correct. There's a lot of contradictory/confusing information out there.
 

sammy01

Well-Known Member
27 September 2015
4,853
690
2,894
I'd have thought 18th August. The one month thing is the period that you have to lodge an appeal to the divorce application.
 

Rod

Lawyer
LawTap Verified
27 May 2014
7,203
969
2,894
File no later than 18 September 2021.

The one month thing is the period that you have to lodge an appeal to the divorce application.
That is true but also not relevant. 12 months from date of effect.
 

Atticus

Well-Known Member
6 February 2019
1,827
259
2,394
he Commonwealth Courts Portal says that my divorce was finalised on the 18th of August even though that's apparently not technically correct.
The 1 month & a day is the time from decree nisi to decree absolute ... You're not actually divorced until the decree absolute, so in this case as per @Rod, file no later than 18/9/21.