There are a lot of factors to consider when a person wants to serve divorce papers Australia. In the intricate maze of relationships, deciding to end a marriage is a poignant turning point. While the emotional turmoil of divorce is undeniable, the legal process of dissolving a marital union brings forth a distinct set of challenges.
In Australia, either spouse can initiate divorce proceedings. The Family Law Act 1975 governs the divorce process in Australia, and it is a “no-fault” system, meaning that the Court does not consider the reason/s the marriage ended. The only ground for divorce is that:
- The marriage broke down; and
- There is no reasonable chance that the parties will get back together
Let us now find out more information about divorce papers Australia and other frequently asked questions in this article.
What to Consider Before Getting a Divorce
1. Eligibility Criteria
To be eligible to apply for divorce papers Australia, you must meet the following criteria:
- Separation period: You must have been separated from your spouse for at least 12 months and one day.
- Australian citizenship or permanent residency: You or your spouse must be an Australian citizen or permanent resident.
- Legal marriage: Your marriage must be recognised as a valid marriage under Australian law.
2. Spousal Maintenance
Sometimes some ex-spouses are incapable of funding themselves after a divorce. This is where spousal maintenance can help financially incapable ex-spouses. The Court can only make an order for spousal maintenance if the applicant cannot adequately support themselves and the respondent can afford to pay. The family court considers the following factors when making spousal maintenance orders:
- Financial resources of both parties;
- Ability to work; and
- Standard of living
3. Child Support
When parents divorce, their child support obligations still continue. Child support is an ongoing financial support provided to children under 18. Before parents consider preparing divorce papers Australia, they must know how to divide child support payments. This way, they can still support their children even though they are far away from each other.
4. Child Custody
Child custody is one of the most important things to consider before preparing divorce papers Australia. According to Section 60CC of the Family Law Act, the child’s best interests are the primary consideration during a divorce. This means that even though the children’s parents separate, they should still be taken care of as if their parents haven’t separated.
5. Property Settlement
Property settlement is the legal process of dividing a couple’s assets, debts and finances. Divorcing couples should ensure that they have figured out how to separate their assets, settle their debts, and calculate their finances. This can prevent any dispute that may arise during the divorce process. Pre-nuptial and postnuptial agreements can help with the property settlement procedure.
Steps to Apply for Divorce in Australia
Before applying for a divorce, you need to consider the following according to Australian family law standards:
1. Type of application: A divorce application can either be a sole or joint application. You can apply for a divorce by yourself (sole application) or with your spouse (joint application). If you file a sole application, you are the applicant, and your spouse is the respondent. For a joint application, both parties are joint applicants.
2. Counselling certificate: If you have been married for less than two years, you will need to file a counselling certificate. You can obtain this by attending counselling with your spouse. If you cannot attend counselling, you will need to file an Affidavit – Family law and child support.
3. Overseas marriage: If you were married overseas, you can still apply for a divorce in Australia if either you or your spouse meet certain criteria, such as being an Australian citizen or permanent resident. You will also need to provide evidence of your marriage from the relevant authority in the country where you were married. These are important divorce papers Australia to take note of.
4. Marriage certificate: You must provide the Court with a copy of your marriage certificate when you file your divorce application. If your marriage certificate is not in English, you will need to file an English translation and an affidavit from the translator.
5. Separation under one roof: It is possible to be separated from your spouse but still live in the same residence or home during the 12 months before applying for divorce. In this case, you will need to prove to the Court that you were separated during this time.
6. Divorce cost: There is a filing fee for divorce applications. You may be eligible for a reduced fee if you hold certain government concession cards or are experiencing financial hardship.
7. Legal advice: You can obtain legal advice from a lawyer to understand your rights and responsibilities before applying for a divorce. Legal professionals are knowledgeable about divorce papers Australia and how to properly file them.
To apply for a divorce, you must complete the online divorce application and pay the filing fee using the Commonwealth Courts Portal. You may also need to file additional documents with your application. If you are making a sole application, you must serve the application on the respondent.
If your divorce was finalised after 12 February 2010 and you were a party to the proceedings you can obtain your divorce record from the Commonwealth Courts Portal at no cost.
Divorce Papers Australia: Additional Tips
1. Complete all forms accurately and legibly: Make sure that you have completed all forms accurately and legibly, and that you have signed and dated them in the correct places.
2. File all forms with the correct court: File all forms with the correct court, which is usually the court in the jurisdiction where you last lived with your spouse for 12 months.
3. Pay the filing fee: Pay the filing fee, which can be found on the court’s website.
4. Serve the application on your spouse: Serve the application on your spouse in person or by registered mail.
5. Keep copies of all documents: Keep copies of all documents, including the application, the Notice of Application for Divorce, and the Affidavit for eFiling.
6. Consider mediation: Courts will generally urge conflicted couples to attend mediation if they cannot agree on divorce agreements. Mediation can help conflicted couples reach a mutual agreement without court intervention.
How Can Family Lawyers Help With Divorce Matters?
JB Solicitors can provide you with legal advice and support throughout the divorce process. We can help you understand your rights and obligations, and they can advise you on the best course of action to take in your particular situation. Our family lawyers can draft and file the necessary divorce documents on your behalf.
Contact us today if you need help with your family law matters today.