Handy Hints (19) – Time limit to initiate proceedings following a divorce

25 March 2022


OSD Presents…Handy Hints (19)

In Australia and under the Family Law Act, former spouses must file an application about property settlement or spousal maintenance (or both) within 12 months of their divorce Order becoming final.

Thereafter they may only do so by consent of both former spouses or with the leave of the Court.

However, in the case of Anderson & McIntosh (2013) FLC 93-568 the Full Court of the Family Court of Australia confirmed that an overseas divorce is an exception to the position stated above; that is, even where parties have been divorced for 12 months, leave is not required to commence matrimonial financial settlement proceedings in Australia where the divorce was obtained overseas.

This can have significant ramifications and emphasises the importance of spouses seeking specialist Family Law advice at an early stage following separation, particularly where their case has an international element and there are foreign legal jurisdictions of relevance.

We’re Here to Help

Family law matters can be difficult and complex. If you require any assistance with a family law dispute, always contact a legal practitioner who will be able to help.

O’Sullivan Davies has practitioners experienced in dealing with all family law issues. More information about our services can be found at our About Us page here.


This article is not legal advice and the views and comments are of a general nature only. This article is not to be relied upon in substitution for detailed legal advice.

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