Every marriage begins with vows of eternal unity. Yet, sometimes, the reality of life leads to an unforeseen conclusion: divorce. This process, while emotionally taxing, also involves navigating a labyrinth of legal procedures.
The Divorce Process
Divorce in Australia is a multi-step process that begins with an application. The applicant fills out a specific form known as the 'Application for Divorce,' providing details about the marriage, separation, and children (if any). Once the application is filed in the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia, it must be personally served to the other party, unless it's a joint application.
The recipient of the application then has the chance to respond if they wish to dispute the application. If there's no dispute, or once any disputes are resolved, the application proceeds to a hearing. It's important to note that if you and your partner have been separated but living under the same roof for any part of 12 months, you may need to provide additional evidence to the court.
If all criteria are met, the court can grant a divorce order at the hearing. The divorce then becomes final one month and one day after the order is made.
Australia follows a no-fault divorce system. This means that the court does not consider why the marriage ended or which party was at "fault". The sole ground for divorce is that the marriage has broken down irretrievably.
This principle aims to avoid unnecessary mud-slinging and emotional distress. The focus is on the fact that the relationship is beyond repair, rather than the reasons why. The only 'proof' you need to provide is that you and your spouse have lived separately and apart for at least 12 months, and there is no likelihood of reconciliation.
Key Factors in a Divorce Application
Approach your divorce application with clarity and confidence. Ensure you can confirm that your relationship has irretrievably broken down. The law requires you to have been separated for a year, even if you've been living separately under the same roof, which can add complexity to the proceedings. This is where the counsel of a skilled divorce lawyer becomes invaluable.
Did you get married overseas? Is your marriage certificate in another language? Do you know where your spouse is now living to ensure that you can affect service? These factors can all add varying layers of complications to your Divorce Application, and if executed incorrectly could cause a delay to the making of the Divorce Order.
Why Hire a Divorce Lawyer?
The role of a lawyer in a divorce application process is pivotal. Divorce can be a complex process with several potential pitfalls. A solicitor guides you through every stage, ensuring that your application is accurately filled out, correctly filed, and properly served.
A divorce lawyer can also provide advice on the rights and responsibilities associated with divorce, including matters related to property division and parenting arrangements. They can help you understand and anticipate potential challenges, and devise strategies to navigate them.
Perhaps most importantly, a lawyer provides a critical support system during an emotionally difficult time. They handle the administrative burdens of divorce, allowing you to focus on your personal wellbeing and the wellbeing of your family.
Divorce applications can be a complex journey requiring not only emotional resilience but also a solid understanding of legal procedures. If you find yourself at the start of this process, reach out to us. As experts in family law, we can guide you through each stage of your divorce application. Our aim is to help you move forward with confidence and peace of mind. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 08 7084 3060 to speak to one of our family law experts now.