The breakdown of any marriage is almost always a stressful and emotionally gruelling experience in the lives of many.
What can make the experience more stressful is trying to figure out the steps to divorce and what needs to be done. With what can be attributed to continually increasing divorce rates, a question asked more than ever is “What are the steps to divorce?”
If you have found yourself asking this, you are not alone. The following article’s purpose is to summarise the steps you need to take to get divorced.
Steps To Divorce – Determining Eligibility
Unfortunately, a divorce cannot be merely granted because parties wish to divorce, per the Family Law Act (1975).
Before discussing the actual steps to divorce, you must first determine whether you and your partner meet the eligibility requirements to divorce.
Before granting an application for divorce, the Court must be satisfied with the following:
First – There Is No Reasonable Prospect Or Likelihood Of Resuming Married Life
This means that both parties to the marriage are certain that they do not want to continue being married to one another.
Second- You And Your Former Partner Have Lived Separately And Apart For A Minimum Period Of 12 Months
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 family law legislation understand that people will continue to reside under the same roof for financial reasons, convenience or even stability for their children. Accordingly, you are not punished for doing so.
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.
Third – 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:
- What school the children will attend;
- The primary residence of the children;
- What days the children will spend with each parent; and
- Who will pick up the children from school and drop them off.
How To Apply For a Divorce – Steps To Divorce
There are two ways to apply for a divorce. These are either by joint application or a single application.
Single Application – Where One Party Decides To File An Application For A Divorce Without The Involvement Of The Other Spouse
- Must be personally served on the other party.
- Where there are children under 18 years of age, the spouse applying must attend a divorce hearing.
Joint Application – An Application For Divorce That Can Be Filed Together By Both Partners
- Beneficial where there are children under 18 years of age.
- No requirement to attend Court
What To Include In Your Application For Divorce
An essential part of the steps to divorce is what to include in your divorce application itself.
Accordingly, we have devised a list below of what details must be included in your application for divorce:
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; and
6. If one spouse is filing for the divorce, a supporting affidavit together with an affidavit by a supporting witness is additionally required.
The Steps To Filing For a Divorce In Australia
The procedure for filing for a divorce in Australia is relatively straightforward. However, if you require any assistance – please do not hesitate to reach out to our team of experienced family lawyers who would be happy to assist.
The steps are outlined below:
- Create a Commonwealth Courts Portal online account here
- Create and complete a new Application for Divorce
- Get your Affidavit for eFiling application witnessed and upload it
- Print out the ‘Marriage, families and separation brochure
- Choose the court location and pay the fees
- Choose a hearing date
- Check that your documents have been received and download the stamped documents.
- Serve the application on the other party.
Importance of Seeking Legal Advice
When discussing the steps to divorce, it is crucial to be aware of the eligibility requirements before submitting your application for divorce. If you are unsure of any of the processes involved and whether or not you are doing the right things.
Please do not hesitate to give our team of experienced family lawyers a call. We are always happy to help with any questions you may have.
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.
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