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The divorce process. How does it work?

Divorce in Australia. Your questions answered.

The Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia have the power to grant a Divorce Order in Australia. After a couple has made the decision to separate they can apply for a divorce to make that separation official which will allow each person to move forward and even re-marry if they wish.

Here are some common questions we get asked at the firm about divorce:

When can I apply for a divorce?

To be eligible for a divorce you must have been separated for at least 12 months after being married for at least 2 years. If you have been married for under 2 years, you will need to attend couples’ counselling before applying for a divorce. There are some exceptions to this rule, for example if Family Violence has occurred.

Do I need to prove fault?

The answer is no. If you can prove to the court that you have been separated for 12 months (this includes separation under one roof), this will be sufficient. The court will not consider the reasons why the marriage ended. The only ground for divorce is that the marriage has broken down and that there is no reasonable chance that the parties will get back together.

What is the difference between an annulment and a divorce?

An annulment is the court declaring that the marriage was not legally valid. You can apply through the court for an initiating application but it very rarely granted. Grounds for an annulment can include rare circumstances such as bigamy, fraud or duress.

Divorce is the legal termination of a marriage that was seen as valid.

Does my divorce include parenting and property matters?

No. Divorce does not resolve issues relating to property and children. Ideally, these matters should be settled before getting a divorce and the law encourages you to sort them out through enforcing Family Dispute Resolution such as mediation.

Do both of us need to apply for a divorce in order for it to be granted?

No. The Application for divorce can be made solely by one of you. However you will both be required to attend Court if there are children from the marriage under the age of 18. This also applies if one of you wishes to oppose a Divorce Application.

What is the process of applying for a divorce with Respect Legal?

Once you have made the decision that you would like to divorce we prepare the application on your behalf. After the divorce order is granted, we will book you in for an initial consult where we discuss your entitlements so you can make an educated decision about whether you would like to pursue a property settlement. Once the divorce is heard by the Court and granted, it comes into effect 1 month and 1 day afterwards. You then have a twelve month period to a property settlement.

Divorce process by Respect Legal

About Respect Legal

Respect Legal is here to disrupt traditional ways of practicing family law through our respectful approach to dispute resolution. We focus on outcomes that strengthen families, rather than tear them apart.

Our team of highly skilled lawyers are leaders in their field who provide expert advice and guidance through complex legal processes so you can achieve an outcome that works best for you and your family.

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