Once you decide to get a divorce in Australia, there are definite legal roads that must be travelled. Our years of experience show us that, in a divorce, having a qualified lawyer on your side will result in much better outcomes.
A divorce lawyer like those at Gippsland Family Lawyers will guide you through both the divorce itself and the details of child custody or property distribution.
Divorce In Australia
The divorce process in Australia is relatively simple, though not rapid. It is mostly an administrative process establishing that two people no longer are married. At its conclusion, the marriage will be dissolved in the eyes of the government and the individuals will no longer be tied to one another.
The process begins with a mandatory 12-month separation process. This demonstrates to the court that the marriage has irretrievably broken down.
There are circumstances in which the separation may be accomplished while living in the same house, but the burden of proof is higher than when the parties live apart. In fact, a third party will be required to attest to the facts surrounding the separation. A good family lawyer can help you prepare your case if you are separated while still being cohabitants.
After this period, you may file a divorce application with the court. Australia does not assign fault in divorce cases, so either party may file the paperwork,
Often, the court will act on the divorce application without the parties having to be in attendance. However, sometimes the court may hold a hearing on the divorce – such as when there are minor children involved.
Once the court has held the hearing, the Consent Decree will be issued and one month later the divorce finalised.
Children and Property
It is critical to understand that the divorce process, though straightforward, has little bearing on the distribution of property and care of any minor children. These problems can be much thornier and often are where a good family lawyer is necessary to protect your interests.
The division of assets and liabilities can and should begin long before you complete the actual divorce. Coming to an agreement on finances without involving the court will save you much time and money. This division should be codified in a Separation Agreement – a legally binding document.
However, it may not be possible for you to come to an agreement with your spouse. If this is the case, a family lawyer can go to court to protect your rights and ensure your portion of the assets are just and equitable. The court will then issue a Court Order which mandates the amount of property each individual receives.
Similarly, a family lawyer will vigorously represent you during child custody and parenting arrangement discussions, including going to court for a Consent Decree. Without this representation, you may not have a sufficient say in important issues such as who your children live with, where they go to school, how often a non-custodial parent gets visitation rights, arrangements for holidays, and many other contentious issues.