Getting a divorce in Australia might be straightforward, but there are a lot of places where you can go wrong if you do not engage a lawyer who specializes in divorce law to assist you.
The steps to getting divorced in Australia are inclusive of:
- Be separated for at least twelve months –the spouses ought to be separated and have to live separately for a minimum period of one year. If this is not the case, legal help is mandatory before you file for a divorce.
- Fill the Application for Divorce –this form sets out details about you and your spouse and your children if you have any. You can fill the form jointly with your former partner or alone. You may get the form online from the Federal Circuit Court of Australia. The website goes ahead to guide the applicants as well as providing answers to the most frequently asked questions. Once you are sure you want the divorce, you pay the fees for filing.
Essential things that happen in a divorce
The divorce process lasts almost four months. It is important to note that not all divorces are the same. Below are some of the things to consider when filing for a divorce.
In Australia, quick divorces are not possible. It is a must for spouses to have separated for a minimum of twelve months. In case there is a three-month timeline of unsuccessful reconciliation, the one-year period starts again.
Child custody during divorce
Parental responsibility means that parents have all the powers, duties, and authority over their children. In case of a divorce, the parents have equal shared responsibility for the child. Note that equal shared responsibility is not synonymous with equal time. If this is not possible, the child stays with other loved ones.
The case of a one-sided divorce filing
Sometimes, a spouse might be willing to file a divorce while the other party intends to retain the marriage. In this case, the spouse filing the divorce must provide evidence to show that the marriage is completely broken. The partners have the right to know the court dates and the necessary documents for the hearing. The partner who does not want the divorce has to file a response before the hearing.
Marriages below two years
Marriages under two years are considered short, and in this case, partners have to attend counseling, after which they obtain a certificate from the counselor. In case this is not achievable, partners file for an affidavit to describe why it is impossible. From there, the divorce process proceeds.
Why a divorce?
The court is not interested in the reasons for the broken marriage per se since a partner will not be punished for certain divorce causes such as infidelity.
Remarrying immediately after divorce
Is it possible for one to marry again immediately after a divorce? Usually, for the divorce to come to effect, it takes about four weeks. In between this period, the separating partners cannot remarry.
The involvement of the Australian court is mandatory in the following scenarios:
- The children involved are under the age of 18 years
- The divorce was filed by one party and not jointly
- One of the partners objects to the divorce
Having filed the divorce, both of you are issued with a court date so as to attend the hearing. If need be, a lawyer may attend on your behalf. The Registrar will ask you questions based on your application, especially if children below 18 years are involved. Details like their present living status, the person taking care of their expenses, and how frequently they see the parents will be determined. You will receive a divorce order in about one month if the Registrar is content with the outcome.
Property and child custody
With the assistance of a lawyer, the spouses ought to settle the property on their own. When this is not possible, the court steps in. The spouses have to list their liabilities and assets owned jointly, individually, or those that involve third parties. All contributions should be considered as well. The court displays the contributions as a percentage to make adjustments.
In the event the former spouses fail to agree to a joint parenting plan, the court issues a parenting order suitable for the child. In case of violence at home, consulting a divorce lawyer is essential in ensuring the child’s safety.