How to get a divorce if you’ve been married for less than 2 years?

If you and your spouse have been married for less than two years and are seeking a divorce, there are additional steps that need to be taken.

It is important to note that, before beginning this process, you are aware of how the Court calculates timing.



The two years are calculated from the date of your marriage to the date you file the Divorce Application.  Additionally, you must have been separated from your spouse for a period of at least 12 months before applying for a divorce. The two years can include the 12 month separation period.






If your circumstances fall within the two-year period, the Court requires that prior to the Divorce Application, you and your spouse must attend counselling with a family counsellor or nominated counsellor. This is to discuss the possibility of reconciliation.



If you require assistance in finding a counsellor, you can go to:





NOTE: It is important that the counsellor you choose is qualified to complete a counselling certificate issued by the Court. This certificate confirms that the counsellor has discussed the possibility of reconciliation with you and your spouse.



You can find a blank counselling certificates by downloading it HERE..



NOTE: When you file for divorce, you will need to attach the completed counseling certificate to the back of the Divorce Application.


counselling for couples married less than 2 years

What happens if I can’t attend counselling?



HOWEVER, sometimes it is not possible to attend counselling with your spouse and if you do not attend counselling, you must seek the Court’s permission to apply for a divorce.



You can do this by filing an affidavit with your application to divorce, which is basically a written statement prepared by a witness or party. This is used to present facts of the case to a Court and it must be sworn or affirmed in front of a person such as a lawyer or a Justice of the Peace.



Your affidavit must explain:



  • Why you and your spouse have not attended counselling


  • This can include not being able to locate your spouse, or if your spouse refuses to go. You must detail your attempts to find them or give notice inviting them to counselling.


  • Any ‘special circumstances’ of your case


  • For example a special circumstance could be where there is a history of domestic abuse in the marriage and it would be dangerous for you to attend counselling with your spouse.



Remember: if you’ve been married less than 2 years the proecss for divorce is different and if you need any legal advice in your situation, you can contact Neat Law for our services.