What does it mean to get a Divorce?
Divorce is the process that ends the formal marriage between two people.
Receiving a divorce order allows for a party to re-marry.
People sometimes say they need assistance with “their divorce”, when they primarily want assistance in relation to separating their assets. It is important to know that getting a divorce will not achieve a property settlement or automatically result in an arrangement for any children of the marriage.
Do I need agreement from my spouse, to divorce?
No, a single party may file for divorce. Sometimes, you may need to utilise the services of a process-server, where the other party does not return required documentation.
Divorce applications are frequently made by one applicant only. They are also able to be applied for jointly. For joint applications, the parties will avoid potential process server fees.
The Application Process
In order to file an application for divorce, you will need to be separated from your partner for at least 12 months.
If you have been married for less than 2 years, there are additional requirements to attend counselling before filing a divorce application, or alternatively leave (permission) must be given by the court to make the application without counselling.
Are you ‘separated’?
‘Separated’ can mean still living under the ‘one roof’, however certain requirements must be met in this instance, including additional affidavit evidence from third parties known to you who can confirm that you are separated.
We are experienced in finalising divorce applications and can take you through the process quickly and efficiently.
To begin your divorce application, we will require your original marriage certificate, as well as 100 points of identification. If you do not have your marriage certificate, this may be obtained through Births, Deaths and Marriages.
There are fees for filing a divorce application which may be reduced if you have a health care card.
Do I have to go to court?
If you are the applicant, and there are children of the marriage, you will need to go to court. If you prefer, we can attend court on your behalf.
How long will it take?
Most divorce applications receive hearing dates of 1-2 months from date of filing.
Following the hearing of your divorce application, provided the requirements for the divorce have been met, you will be issued with a divorce order after one month and one day.
What happens next?
It is important to know that getting a divorce can have implications for the validity of wills and for certain types of assets such as superannuation.
In order to avoid “intestacy” (dying without a valid will) or losing superannuation assets to an estranged (separated) spouse in the event of your death, you must follow certain requirements for your will and in relation to your superannuation holdings.
We are able to assist you in ensuring your superannuation is protected and your assets are distributed to your beneficiaries pursuant to your intentions, after you have divorced.
If you currently hold your original marriage certificate, applications to the court can be made quickly.
Please call our office on (03) 9379 0877, to arrange an appointment if you have any questions about divorce.
Please note – information given above is ‘general in nature’ only and you should seek legal advice in relation to your particular circumstances before acting.