A divorce in Australia can take place in certain conditions. For instance, according to the Family Relationships Online, a platform of the Australian Government, a couple must prove that there is a separation for at least 12 months.
There are also other conditions to be met, of course, and they can be presented by our divorce lawyer in Australia, who can also help you in the legal proceedings you must follow.
When can a couple apply for divorce in Australia?
Not anyone can start the divorce application in Australia. The right is granted to spouses who are Australian citizens or to those who have been constantly living in Australia (they are long-term residents or permanent).
It is also allowed to start this procedure even if you are not a permanent resident, but you have been living in Australia for the last 12 months before initiating the divorce.
The right to file for divorce is available for spouses who are living overseas and who meet the criteria mentioned above.
Please mind that couples that have been married for less than 2 years are required to address to a marriage counsellor before starting the divorce application in Australia.
Couples can address to divorce lawyers in Sydney if they live in this city and propose to file for divorce together or the procedure can be initiated by a single spouse.
What is the legal procedure to divorce in Australia?
The divorce procedure is rather simple, if everything runs smoothly. The parties can start the divorce application in Australia with or without the assistance of Australian lawyers.
The need to be represented by a divorce lawyer in Australia will appear especially in the case where the parties do not agree on the divorce itself, the terms of the divorce, if there are children involved, etc.
The law regarding the divorce procedure can be explained by our divorce lawyers in Sydney; you can also rely on our divorce lawyers in Brisbane if you live in this region. Below, we invite you to read about the basic structure of a divorce:
- the main rule of law which regulates the divorce in Australia is the Family Law Act 1975;
- if the couple meets the basic requirement, meaning of 12 months of separation, the procedure can be initiated by filing the divorce application and pay the fee of $940 to the Federal and Circuit Court of Australia;
- in some cases, one can be eligible for the payment of a lower fee, of only $310;
- after the divorce application is filed, the documents are served to the other spouse, who must file a response in a period of 28 days;
- in the case in which the spouse is overseas, the response must be submitted in a period of maximum 42 days;
- after the other spouse files a response, the court will hear the case and since that moment, if there aren’t any major issues to be disputed, the court can issue a decree on the termination of the marriage in 28 days.
Of course, this represents only the basic structure of the divorce in Australia, where the parties have nothing else to share than the marriage itself.
In the case in which the spouses have to dispute assets and the custody of children, more complex procedures have to be completed, but separately from the divorce procedure itself.
Please mind that the Australian law does not require parties to have a specific reason for the dissolution of the marriage, as it is the case of other jurisdictions.
But in families where children are involved, the court can require mediation procedures; the decisions regarding the custody of the children can be established in a period of 12 months after the decision on the divorce was granted.
The same rule for divorce in Australia applies for the couple’s properties and assets. If you need further advice, we invite you to contact our law firm in Australia or our divorce lawyers in Brisbane, if you need legal representation in this city.