It is well known that relationship counselors have the busiest times in January and February. People spend the holidays with their extended families and by the time the New Year breaks they are ready to implement new resolutions and relationship goals. Nonetheless, divorce is an emotionally demanding affair. People get caught up in the arguments with their spouse that they forget to attend to the practicalities such as who moves out, who gets the kids and how they share property.
One in every three marriages in Australia ends in divorce. Divorce, in this case, means an official end to a marriage. That is to say that after the divorce is final, you can legally get remarried. The only requirement for the divorce is that your relationship with your spouse is irretrievably broken down. As proof, the court requires that you will have separated for more than 12 months by the time you file for the divorce. There also needs to be no likelihood of getting back together.
The divorce process
To apply for a divorce, you must be an Australian citizen. While your partner does not necessarily have to agree with you on the separation, they have to know that you consider the marriage to be over. Fortunately, the courts will not consider the person whose fault it is that the marriage ended. You must also be living in Australia, as your permanent home. In fact, if you constantly travel, by the time you are applying for a divorce, you need to have lived in the country for at least a year prior to your application.
You can apply for a divorce with the help of a family lawyer, and this you can do either jointly, (you and your spouse) or alone (sole application). For a joint application, you do not need to go to court unless you are unable to agree on matters such as child custody. On the other hand, you must go to court in a sole application where your children were part of a separation and are under 18 years of age. There, you can expect to pay a fee for filing.
When applying for a divorce on your own, your ex-spouse needs to be served with the application. Serving means giving your ex-partner the paperwork so that they can be aware of the court proceedings. It is important to note that you cannot serve your partner personally but you can mail them. In fact, family law courts govern the procedure and a divorce lawyer will give you court-issued forms that prove that the person in question was served. Be sure to give your ex-partner time between the filing and actual divorce date. When you finally go to the court hearing, you will receive a divorce order and it will become finalised one month after your hearing when the court issues you with a certificate.
What if I married overseas?
A common question that Australian citizens have around divorce is whether they are entitled to file in the country even if they married elsewhere. The process remains the same. However, you must regard Australia as your home or have the intention to live there indefinitely. Alternatively, you can apply for a divorce in the country if you are Australian by descent or birth or if you have Australian citizenship.
How a divorce lawyer can help
Many people fear that a divorce will be expensive and it can be if the situation is not handled correctly. One way to deal with money concerns and make sure that you do not spend more than you need to is to engage the services of a divorce lawyer. Remember that court proceedings are serious and you will need representation so that your application is drafted properly before it is brought to the court.
The other benefit of having a divorce lawyer is that they can look at your proceedings objectively. Decisions made during divorce will impact you and your ex-partners lives in the future. The stakes are higher when there are children involved. With an attorney, you can have peace of mind knowing that someone who is not as engaged in the divorce as you are will help. Therefore, if you are considering a divorce, contact a family law lawyer today to learn more about divorce and how they can help you.