The process to get divorced in Malta and the way things will proceed differs depending on whether the couple is legally separated or not or whether separation proceedings are already underway. These instances are discussed separately hereunder;

When the couple isalready legally separated through a court order or a separation agreement. 

If the spouse is already separated the applicant or applicants may only demand to the Court to have their marriage dissolved. The respondent of the application may contest the application on the grounds that either the required term stated in the law has not lapsed or that the applicant fails to pay the due maintenance. 

When the couple is not legally separated. 

In such a case the applicant who makes the demand for divorce may bring forth other demands which would otherwise be permissible in a cause for separation.     The respondent of the application may contest the application on the grounds mentioned in A. and also other defences which the respondent would have been entitled to make in a cause for separation. 
During the proceedings the court may issue orders related to who shall reside in the matrimonial home during the proceedings and also on maintenance as to ensure that during the pendency of the proceedings the spouses and children are accomodated to.
Before the court proceeds with the granting of divorce the court will direct the couple to appear before a mediator as to attempt a reconciliation and when such is not achieved to enable the parties to conclude the divorce on the basis of an agreement. The mediator is appointed or with the mutual consent of the parties or by the court itself.    

When there are pending separation proceedings between the spouses.

A couple who is already going through a separation process may make recourse to the court, either separately or jointly, so that the demand for separation be instead considered as a demand for a pronouncement of divorce. 
After making such claim the court will consider whether the couple satsfies the required conditions stipulated in the law for applying for divorce and it will amongst other things verify that the couple has been in fact living apart for the required number of years. 
The court will then decide whether to accept the demand for divorce through a judgement handed down in open court. 
Once the court accepts the application to have separation proceedings converted into divorce proceedings all witnesses and documents presented with the cause for separation will automatically become applicable to the cause for divorce. The spouses still retain the right to present further evidence in the divorce proceedings relating to the said cause. 
In the case where neither party makes recourse to the court to demand a conversion of separation proceedings into divorce proceedings and the spouses or one of them makes a demand for divorce, the court will automatically hear and decide together both causes and link them together without the need of a demand by the parties or one of them.  It is in the discretion of the court whether to summon the parties infront of a Mediator as contemplated in B. depending at which stage the separation proceedings where at before being converted into divorce proceedings.