The last thing anyone wants to worry about following the breakdown of a marriage is the legal requirements that follow in an application for divorce. As experienced family lawyers, we understand that this is a highly emotional and stressful time in your life – and so that’s why we put together this article to reduce this stress hopefully.
This article aims to make this stressful experience a little bit easier on you by providing a simple guide on the most common things you need to be aware of in your application for divorce.
The Requirements Before Submitting Your Application For Divorce
The eligibility requirements are the first thing you should be aware of if you are considering applying for a divorce. Unfortunately, a divorce cannot be merely granted because parties wish to divorce, per the Family Law Act (1975).
Before granting an application for divorce, the court must be satisfied with the following:
1. You And Your Former Partner Have Lived Separately And Apart For A Minimum Period Of 12 Months
In the eyes of the law, you may have still been occupying the same residence and living apart. All that your application for divorce requires to be successful is that both parties speak and behave as if they are both separated inside and outside of the home from the time of separation.
Couples will often be separated and continue to reside in the same residence in Australia, and so this is officially recognised in the Family Law Act under s49 (2). The court and law understand that couples will continue to reside under the same roof for financial reasons, convenience and stability for their children – and so you are not punished for doing so.
2. There Is No Reasonable Prospect Or Likelihood Of Resuming Married Life
This means that both parties to the marriage are sure that they do not want to continue being married to one another.
3. If There Are Children Under The Aged Of 18 Years Old Involved, Then The Proper The Arrangements Have Been Made For Them
This means you and your soon to be former partner must have made arrangements that you have both agreed upon regarding matters such as:
- The primary residence of the children
- What days the children will spend with each parent
- What school the children will attend
- Who will pick up the children from school and drop them off
How To Apply For A Divorce
There are two ways to apply for divorce. These are either by single or joint application.
Single Application: A single application occurs if one party decides to apply for a divorce without the involvement of the other spouse. A single application must be personally served on the other party. There is a requirement to attend a divorce hearing for the spouse filing the application where children under 18 are involved.
Joint Application: A joint application is particularly beneficial where children under the age of 18 are involved, and there is no requirement to attend court.
What To Include In Your Application For Divorce
An application for divorce must include the following details:
1. Details regarding the current residence of both parties
2. The arrangement in place for any children under the age of 18
3. Details regarding any other agreement or court orders already in place
4. A copy of the marriage certificate
5. Documentation to verify citizenship statuses such as a passport or citizenship certificate
6. If one spouse is filing for the divorce, a supporting affidavit together with an affidavit by a supporting witness is additionally required
How Long Do I Have To Respond To An Application For Divorce?
This response to an application for divorce is officially known as a ‘Response to Divorce’ and must be filed:
- Within 28 days, if the application is served within Australia
- Within 42 days, if the application is served outside of Australia
This response can either be filed electronically or at a family law registry. Click here for more information.
When Am I Considered Legally Divorced?
When you are lodging your documents for divorce, you must select a date for a divorce hearing. This hearing will take place before the Registrar, and if approved, your divorce will legally come into effect exactly one month and one day following the court listing.
Importance of Seeking Legal Advice
It is vital that when you are unsure of anything required of you in an application for divorce, that you do not simply guess what the correct thing to do is, and you seek out legal advice from an experienced family lawyer.
Here at JB Solicitors, we’ll make the process as pain-free as possible. We have fixed-fee pricing for family law, giving you a clear sense of the costs from the start, and we will be sure to help you out every step of the way. With years of experience under our belt, we pride ourselves on making each client’s family law experience as positive as possible.
Contact JB Solicitors today to speak with one of our friendly and experienced family lawyers.
Suppose you have any more questions regarding the process for an application for divorce or any other family law matters. In that case, you should head over to our blog section for more informative articles on a wide range of family law topics.
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