If you have been separated for some time or your marriage has broken down you may be thinking about divorce. At Adams Wilson Lawyers we understand the end of a relationship can be difficult for everyone involved. Our experienced family lawyers know how to handle separation and divorce cases with sensitivity, ensuring the process happens as smoothly and stress free as possible in each individual situation.
Applying for Divorce
Before you can apply for divorce there are a number of requirements you need to meet;
- You must prove you are married by providing a marriage certificate or similar evidence of the relationship
- You have been separated from your spouse for at least 12 months
- This is usually the date you cease living together.
- However, the court can determine you to have been living separately under the same roof, eg. in separate bedrooms.
- You can resume the relationship for up to 3 months without effecting the 12 month period.
- There is no reasonable prospect of the two of you reuniting.
- If the marriage was less than two years you need to attend counselling to discuss the possibility of reconciliation
- If there are children of the relationship there are satisfactory arrangements for them in every respect:
- Health, Education, Residency and Contact, Financial Support.
- You and your spouse are either Australian residents, citizens, or regard Australia as your permanent home
- If you were married in another country, you can apply for a divorce in Australia.
- Australia, however, does not recognise same sex marriages from overseas.
Divorce applications are heard before a Registrar of the Federal Circuit Court of Australia. In certain circumstances, you will need to attend the hearing of your divorce. Usually, you will be required to attend if there are children of the marriage under the age of 18 or the divorce is being contested by the other party. Our family lawyers are experienced in representing clients for their divorce and can assist you with the preparation of your application, responding to a divorce and represent you in court.
Divorce is the process of ending a marriage so that you are no longer legally married to the other person. It is not to be confused with a matrimonial property settlement or parenting, which are a separate procedure. Although, it remains essential that you have one of our lawyers prepare a thorough divorce application on your behalf as the processes are inter related and information provided in your divorce may be relevant in other proceedings, particularly in relation to children of the marriage and spousal maintenance. Also time frames apply, for example, you will need to file property proceedings within 12 months of the date of the divorce. Failing which you would have to apply to the court for permission which can be costly and there is no guarantee you will be successful.
Even if you have already resolved your property settlement and parenting arrangements. It is still important for you to get divorced as there are legal implications of being married in relation to your finances and estate planning (Will). You will also be unable to marry somebody else, unless you are divorced.
Since 2009 de facto couples that separate could obtain property settlements under the same principles that apply to married couples under the Family Law Act. If you and your de facto partner were in a relationship for at least two years but have since separated, it is advisable to seek a family lawyer for property settlement matter.
A de facto relationship can be between two people of either opposite or same sex. You will be considered de facto if:
- You have lived together as a couple for two years
- There is a child or children of the relationship
Other considerations for de facto relationships include:
- The duration of the relationship
- Nature and extent of the couple’s common residence
- Level of financial dependence, interdependence or financial support
- Ownership, use or acquisition of property
- Contributions or improvements made to property
- Degree of commitment to a shared life
- The level of intimacy
- Whether the relationship has been registered
- Existence of, care and support of children
- Reputation and public aspect of the relationship
Declaring a de facto relationship for the purpose of separation and settlement can be quite complicated. Make sure you have an expert on your side to protect your interests.
If you are separated from either a marriage or de facto relationship, or you’re seeking a divorce, it’s important that you get legal advice as soon as possible to prevent the problems and issues that may arise. Talk to the experienced Family Lawyers at Adams Wilson for strategic advice on how you should proceed.