The secrets to a successful divorce. For those of us in a particular age group you might be familiar with this Homer Simpson quote; inexplicably teaching a class on the secrets to a successful marriage he says;
Homer’s insight is anything but insightful. It is nonsensical and unpredictable. However, marriage can often be unpredictable and relationships unfortunately often come to an end.
Faced with the end of your relationship, you will likely have a number of burning questions about the divorce process.
This article intends to answer some of those questions and point you in the right direction. Thankfully, the system for Divorce in Australia can be very straightforward. However, like any legal process there are a number of places you can go wrong and missteps that can be made.
Here are the things you need to know.
You need to be separated from your spouse for at least one year. Separation can include you living under one roof, or obviously living in separated residences. If you are separated but still living under one roof, you will need to complete an Affidavit setting out the circumstances of your separation. Your spouse or another independent person will also need to complete an Affidavit.
An Affidavit is a written document that you swear or affirm is true. It is used as evidence in Court. We are able to assist you with writing Affidavits for the purposes of proving your separation.
Firstly, you will need to locate a copy of your marriage certificate. This will most certainly streamline the process. If you can’t find it, then we can help you apply to your local state registry for a copy if you married in Australia. If you married overseas and don’t have a copy you we can also help you contact that country’s embassy to ask how you can apply.
Once you have your marriage certificate, the next step in the process will be for you to complete an Application for Divorce document. This is form which sets out information about you and your spouse, and if you have any, your children. It can be a document completed and filed by you solely, or jointly with your spouse.
You should also provide your divorce lawyer with copies of any other family law related documents you may have in relation to property or parenting matters that are either resolved, or ongoing with your spouse.
If you apply for a sole Application for Divorce you will need to formally serve your Application for Divorce and other attached documents on your spouse. We generally suggest that our clients use a professional process server for this purpose, and engage one on our client’s behalf for this purpose.
Legally, there needs be a Court hearing when filling for a Divorce, however it depends on various scenarios on whether you personally need to attend. In some situations, your lawyer is able to attend the Court for you. Both you and your spouse can elect not to attend Court (if it is a joint divorce). However, if you have children under 18 years old or it is a sole application, then it will likely be necessary for you to attend.
The Court will then allocate a date for a Hearing to determine the Application for Divorce. This is usually 2-4 months from the date you filed your application.
Each situation is different so we recommend that you speak to your lawyer about your options. If you wish to contact us, feel free to do so.
Following your divorce proceedings, you also need to consider your property and parenting proceedings, and if you do not wish to attend the Court, you may consider a form of Alternate Dispute Resolution, such as Mediation, to settle your disputes.
After the Court makes the Order for divorce, you will receive a copy of your Divorce Orders one month and one day from the date of your hearing. You can download them from the Commonwealth Court Portal. This is the date when your divorce will become official.
In Australia, you do not need a “reason” or the agreement of your husband or wife to get divorced, you just need to have been separated for one year. The Australian jurisdiction differs from other countries in this regard.
You can apply for a divorce in Australia if either you OR your spouse are:
If you have any further questions about the Divorce process, please do not hesitate to get in touch. Our friendly team are happy to help and you can contact us here.