Foreigners Marrying in Australia - What Happens if We Divorce?

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New Member
17 November 2016
A simple question please:

I intend to marry my girlfriend in Australia next year as part of a holiday. I am a Cyprus (EU) national and my future bride has a Russian nationality. Currently we both live in China, but we may move to Cyprus after some years. We have no ties to Australia other than the proposed holiday/marriage early next year.

If we get married Australia and the worst happens and we get separated, where would divorce proceedings need to be initiated? Under Cyprus law, property that is held before marriage is protected going into the marriage. What is the implication if we are marrying in Australia?

Would Australian Family Law about divorce be applied to a couple who are foreigners and don’t live in Australia?

Would a prenuptial agreement safeguard my assets in Cyprus?

Many thanks


You can only get a divorce in Australia if you:
  • regard Australia as your home and intend to live in Australia indefinitely, or
  • are an Australian citizen by birth, descent or by grant of Australian citizenship, or
  • ordinarily live in Australia and have done so for 12 months immediately before filing for divorce.
Court ordered property settlements are not automatic upon divorce in Australia. You must apply separately if you cannot agree on a property settlement between you.

Generally you can obtain a divorce for a foreign marriage in your own country if your marriage is recognised as valid there, and their own laws regarding property settlement would apply.