8 things you need to know before getting a divorce in Australia

If you are planning to get a divorce, or already are in the middle of one, there are more chances than not, that you are not in the best state of mind. During these times of crisis, it can be harder to go through law and order but it is all the more important now.

After all, ending a marriage is quite a decision, and there are so many questions that clutter your mind. Below, we have rounded up 8 things you need to know before getting a divorce in Australia.

  1. There’s no such thing as a quick divorce

If you have a question in your mind regarding whether you can get a divorce as soon as tomorrow, the answer is a big NO. There are many states and countries that allow them, but not Australia.

To even apply for a divorce, you and your spouse need to be separated for at least 12 months. Further, if in the period of separation, there is a period of reconciliation for three months or more, the 12 months restarts. After this, it typically takes 4 months from applying for the divorce to finalizing one.

  1. Divorce is possible even if you are living together during the separation period

This question must definitely be ringing in your head, “what if we have been living together during the separation period?” Well, divorce is still possible but you will have to provide evidence of separation.

This can be done from an affidavit, confirming separation details. The affidavit can include living in separate rooms, being open about your split to friends, family, and neighbors, who might also be required to provide evidence.

  1. Counselling is required in ending short term marriages

Did you know that the largest proportion of couples separating and then divorcing are those who have been married nine years or less? In 2017, 56% of separations and 43% of divorces were from couples in this category. If you have been thinking that since you haven’t been married for long, getting a divorce would take less time, then you are wrong.

In fact, if you have been married for less than two years, you and your spouse will have to attend a session with a counselor and obtain a certificate. If there is no chance you and your spouse can attend the counseling together, you need to again arrange for an affidavit. After this, a normal divorce procedure with a 12-month separation period follows.

  1. You can still get a divorce, even if your partner opposes

As long as you have a 12-month separation period, with all proofs that justify your irretrievably broken marriage, you can get a divorce.

However, since both partners are entitled to know about the divorce hearing, the papers will have to be served to him/her prior to 28 days before the hearing. The partner opposing the divorce can also file a response stating the same.

  1. You cannot remarry immediately

Yes, you need to wait for one month, because in Australia, your marital status is not considered final for another month. Marrying immediately will be considered bigamy!

  1. Having an affair is not punishable

In Australia, there is a no-fault jurisdiction, meaning no party, neither of the spouses can be blamed. The only thing necessary for establishing grounds of divorce is a 12-month separation period to prove that the marriage has irretrievably broken.

  1. You need to make parenting and property arrangements outside of divorce

Stats reveal that the proportion of divorces involving children under 18 years has fallen since the 1970s, from 68% in 1975 to 47% in 2017. But still, a whopping number of 47% divorces involve children. The court doesn’t usually engage in matrimonial asset matters, but if you wish so, the application needs to be received 12 months prior to the finalization of divorce.

  1. Hiring no win, no fee lawyers is beneficial

As per the name, there are lawyers in Australia who charge fees only against win. It sounds fantastic, but to make full use of it, you need to choose the right lawyer and check his cost agreements to see what’s covered.

Most times, the terms and conditions are such that if you don’t win the case, the amount that needs to be paid to the lawyers isn’t zero but negligible. No win No Fees lawyers in Queensland have laws protecting your interests, that further makes them more attractive and

Over to you…

It’s not good news that your marriage is on the edge of a divorce. But I am sure there’s something good waiting for you. And, now that you know all that’s there to know about divorce in Australia, I hope you find the right way ahead!

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