We get a lot of questions about this topic – and no wonder too. In 2014 alone there were 46,000 divorces in Australia!
It is an unfortunate and often exhausting process to go through – that’s why, at Adams and Partners, our goal is to try to make it as easy as possible for you to go through this harrowing period of your life.
Here are some very basic but frequently asked questions about divorce:
When can I get divorced?
You can get divorced so long as you have been separated from your spouse for more than 12 months. This demonstrates that the relationship has irretrievably broken down. If you reconciled following a period of separation, the separation time starts again if the reconciliation lasted more than 3 months.
Do I need a reason?
The Family Law Act 1975 established the principle of no-fault divorce in Australia. This means that there does not need to be a reason as to who was at fault in the marriage breakdown.
What if I was married overseas?
As long as you are an Australian Citizen or resident, or you consider Australia your permanent home, you can still go through the divorce process in Australia.
What if my spouse disagrees?
Most of the time, it does not matter whether your spouse agrees or not. As previously outlined, all that needs to happen is to show that there has been an irretrievable breakdown in the marriage. At best, there is a disagreement as to when the parties separated, or perhaps other technical issues such as jurisdiction. In such a situation, if you still wish to proceed with the divorce application, the matter would need to be heard before the Court.
What if we still live under the same roof?
The Law recognises that separation can still occur even if the parties are still living under the same roof. Just because you live under the same roof, this does not mean that you do things together as a couple, like putting money in a joint account, doing activities together, cooking and cleaning together and sleeping in the same room.
Additional evidence would need to be provided to the Court that demonstrates that the parties are separated.
What else do I need?
If your marriage has been less than 1 year in length, you also need to provide the Court with a certificate from a counsellor showing that you have been counselled in relation to these matters.
Do I have to go to Court?
Generally yes, but we can go to Court for you instead.
What about my children?
So long as there are adequate parenting arrangements put in place, the Court would have no difficulty in granting the divorce.
That being said, we recommend that a parenting plan or consent orders in relation to parenting is sorted out between you and your spouse, and filed in the Court. This will give some clarity as to the parenting arrangements.
If you need assistance with parenting matters, please give our office a call and we’ll see what we can do to help you out.
What about property?
You have a period of 12 months from the divorce to make an application to the Court to resolve all property matters between you and your spouse. You can also negotiate and file consent orders in the Court even before the divorce application is filed.
If you need assistance with property matters, please give our office a call and we’ll see what we can do to help you out.
Other issues to consider
You should do a financial review of your circumstances after divorcing your spouse. You should also look towards updating your Will, checking your binding nominations for your superannuation, and making sure all loose ends are tied up.
If there is anything that we can do for you, give us a call. One of our solicitors from our Family Law Team will be sure to help out.