Electing for the dissolution of your marriage is one of the most significant decisions that you can make in your life. Hence, divorce is never taken lightly by the Australian court of law. And the complexity or straightforwardness of a divorce is largely individualised since it depends on the kind of relationship that the two spouses have, be it amicable or combative. If you have decided to file for a divorce, there are some things that you should be aware of. Contrary to popular belief, getting a divorce is not as simple as walking into the courthouse and applying for the dissolution of your union. It is judicious to engage the services of a family law specialist to ensure that you have proper guidance during the process. This piece looks into a few of the basic things that you should know about divorce under Australian law.
Prerequisites prior to filing for a divorce
When you decide to apply for a divorce, there are a few things to be aware of since this is not something that you can wake up one morning and decide to do. Before filing any paperwork, ensure that you have met the following prerequisites:
- You are an Australian citizen or resident
- Your primary residence for the last year has been in Australia
- You have been separated from your spouse for at least one entire year and are no longer living together
- You see no signs of reconciling with your spouse in the future
- You have made the appropriate care arrangement for any children who may be under the legal age
What happens if you have not separated?
If you have made the decision to get a divorce but have been living with your partner, the first thing that you should do is move out of the home. It is mandatory to have been apart for a year before you can proceed with the filing for the divorce. After a year has gone by, you then have the chance to either make a joint application with your spouse or a single application.
Divorces from a joint application tend to be smoother and more straightforward than their single application counterparts are because both spouses are on the same page about leaving the union. If you take the single application approach, you will be tasked with serving your spouse with the legal papers. You will then appear before the court for a hearing. If the court accepts your single application, you will be granted a court order, and you can continue with the proceedings after a little over a month has passed.