A divorce can be extremely stressful and bring multiple complications. Hence, while you consider and apply for divorce, it’s always a good idea to contact a divorce lawyer and explore your legal options and associated risks.

Usually, a divorce is a fairly simpler procedure. However, many circumstances can shape it into a complicated event where you will require legal guidance, especially if it involves children and other family members. Matters like these tend to escalate to Court and can lead to property settlement and relevant issues.

Eligibility for divorce

There are specific criteria to decide whether married couples are eligible for a divorce. The first step is to determine your nationality. In order to apply for a divorce, you or your spouse must be an Australian citizen or domiciled in Australia or an ordinary resident in Australia staying in the country for at least one year prior to the application.

Moreover, you must be separated for 12 months. According to Australian family law, divorce can only occur if the marriage is irreparable with no reasonable likelihood of you getting back together. In such cases, you can provide evidence to prove it, such as proof that you’re not living together, stopped being intimate, and have different financial arrangements. Moreover, there must be either less or no contact with your spouse, either privately or publicly. In all cases, the Court will not consider the reason or fault of whoever ended the marriage.

However, many cases are more complicated than the general majority and can include cases of domestic violence and other forms of abuse. If you are in a similar situation, we recommend you reach out to the relevant authorities and our team of experienced divorce lawyers immediately to discuss your case in detail and explore your legal options


Legal complications involved in the last 12 months

In many cases, couples live apart and get back together several times in an attempt to reconcile. However, it can be confusing to calculate the 12-month period for the divorce. In such cases, you can use the separation periods to add up to the 12 months.

Many couples who are separated may live under the same roof, even if it is for a small part of their separation. In such cases, you will need to convince the Court that you separated despite the shared accommodation.

You must file an affidavit which is typically a written statement. It must state that you lived in separate bedrooms, there was no act of intimacy, and your friends and family were aware of the separation.

For couples married for less than 2 years, they will need to provide the Court with a certificate from a family counsellor. If you are unable to do this, then you must file an application and attach an affidavit seeking permission to reject family counselling. However, you must provide a reason.

Moreover, if your marriage involved children under the age of 18, the Court can only grant a divorce if you can satisfy the criteria of proper arrangements for the children. It includes emotional, physical, and financial arrangements.

Many questions and concerns like these can arise when filing for a divorce. Hence, seeking legal advice from a divorce lawyer ensures that you are aware of the conditions, requirements, and outcomes.

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Applying with a Divorce Lawyer

If you are applying for divorce, a divorce lawyer can help you complete an application. There are 2 ways to file a divorce –

  • Joint Application – Both spouses will file the application together, filling the relevant section that applies to them.
  • Sole Application – Only one spouse will file this application and then serve it to the other spouse

You must complete the application online through the eFiling portal and include all necessary documents. It can include your marriage certificate, citizenship certificate or copy of visa, etc. “Serving the application” is a legal requirement where you must provide a copy of the application to the individuals who will face the consequences of the divorce. However, it will be a legal necessity only if you file a sole application. 

If you are a sole applicant, the Court will stamp or seal the application after you lodge it. The next step is to arrange for a copy of the application and send it to your spouse.

It is important to note that the process will involve legal fees when you lodge the divorce application with the Court. As of recent updates, you will need to pay $900 to lodge unless you or your spouse qualify for a reduced fee.

Property Settlement & Other Financial Arrangements With a Divorce Lawyer

divorce lawyersThere will be orders regarding finances, property, or children, which will exist as separate legal matters from the divorce application. You can make these orders at any time before or after your divorce. However, we advise our clients to seek early advice on these matters as they involve time limitations and other legal complications. Moreover, it will give rise to unnecessary conflict and other factors, which you can deal with as soon as possible for the best outcome.

In the case of children under the age of 18, you and your spouse must consider the arrangements, including housing, school, care, grade and progress, health, level of contact with either parent, financial support, etc. A child of the marriage can include a child of you and your spouse, adopted children, or any other child who your family treated as a member of your family before your separation. This can include a step-child or foster child.

Divorce Hearing

After your official divorce application, you will have a hearing at the Court, where they will decide whether or not to grant the divorce. In any case, you must attend the Court hearing if you are the sole applicant with a child under 18 or if your spouse opposes the divorce application.

You can log into the Portal and also choose to receive a notification email to inform you about the acceptance of your divorce application. The divorce order will have an electronic seal and signature. Additionally, it is the original order. Hence, in case of any future evidence or record, this divorce order will be the only piece of original and official record to prove your divorce.

However, it is important to note that the Court will not finalise your divorce immediately. It will instead take 1 month and 1 day after the Court approves your divorce application.

Additionally, we advise you to attend the Court hearing if they ask you to provide additional affidavit material. Such pieces of evidence can indicate the circumstances such as separation within a shared accommodation or divorce after a marriage that lasted less than two years. Moreover, there can be various situations that may impact the outcome of your matter. Hence, make sure that you have all your documents with you for the electronic court hearing, which also includes a copy of your application and other relevant documents

Currently, all divorce hearings are held electronically. Hence, if you must attend the Court hearing and do not have the necessary details, you must email the registry directly and inform them about the divorce. All Court registries will have a generic email address, depending on the name of the registry. 


Important Steps After Finalising the Divorce

Each application for divorce is different and heavily dependent on your personal circumstances. Hence, in many cases, the Court may ask for additional documents. In the case of a sole application, you must serve your divorce. However, if you are unaware of the whereabouts of your spouse, then you will need to apply to the Court for service order.

You may need to file additional legal documents later to support your divorce application, which wasn’t necessary at the time of filing the divorce. It can include further affidavits, or other records. Either way, you must be prepared.

Moreover, if you file the application together with your spouse as joint applicants, you will not need to serve the other party. Living as a married couple can result in joint assets and other financial arrangements. Hence, after finalising your divorce, the first step is to make a new will, especially if you have children under 18. 

Also Read: How To Make A Will & Why It’s Important

Moreover, make sure you check your superannuation and life insurance while seeking legal advice regarding financial arrangements, property settlements, and children in the marriage. Contact your bank, utility provider, landlord, superannuation providers, and other relevant authorities.

Talk to a United Legal Divorce Lawyer Today

If you need any help to complete the application or are unsure regarding your eligibility for a divorce, you must obtain legal advice. Each case is unique, and in terms of divorce cases, there are emotional and financial complications involved. Hence, seeking help from our experienced team of divorce lawyers can help you sort out your divorce amicably, ensuring the best outcome.

Moreover, our divorce lawyers can explain how the law applies to your specific case and discuss any legal risks and outcomes of your case. An event like this can be extremely stressful on its own, and the added legal technicalities can further escalate the situation. Hence, a divorce lawyer can manage the legal burden for you, so you can focus on yourself.

Talk to a United Legal lawyer today for a detailed consultation for your case.



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