Separation and divorce are usually quite difficult times. The following information about divorce may be helpful.
In Australia the Court does not consider who may be ‘at fault’, or why the marriage broke down. Rather, when granting a divorce, the Court considers whether there is any reasonable likelihood that the parties will reunite. In other words, the Court would ask, “has the marriage broken down irretrievably”?
It is important to note that a divorce is a separate process from the distribution of property, or financial support, or arrangements for children. A divorce is just formalising the fact that the marriage has ended.
A divorce application can only be submitted when the parties have been separated for 12 months. It is possible to be separated, and still living under the same roof.
One party to a marriage, or both parties, may make an application for divorce.
If the parties to a marriage have children aged under 18 years, the Court will need to be satisfied that proper arrangements have been made for the children before granting a divorce.
For people that have been married less than two years, they will need to attend counselling, and obtain a counselling certificate, prior to applying for a divorce.
It is possible to oppose a divorce application; although there are only a few reasons why that may occur.
It doesn’t necessarily matter whether or not you were married in Australia, you can still apply for a divorce if you:
- regard Australia as your home and intend to live indefinitely in Australia;
- are an Australian citizen by birth or descent;
- are an Australian citizen by grant of an Australian citizenship; or
- ordinarily live in Australia and have done so for 12 months immediately before filing for divorce.
You will need to provide the Court with a copy of your marriage certificate; if you were married overseas and it is not in English, you will need to file an English translation of it, and an affidavit from the translator.
The timing of your divorce application may be relevant, and could affect other aspects of your marital affairs. You should seek legal advice as early as possible.
Of course, the above is merely an overview and not intended to be advice. Family law is not an uncomplicated process.
At West Family Lawyers we offer assistance in this process, and are only a phone call away. Call (08) 9380 9111 if you would like our help.