Legal Support for Divorces
If your marriage has come to an end, the last things you want to be thinking about are the legal processes which you must confront in order to obtain a divorce. This can be one of the most emotional and stressful periods in any person’s life, especially if children are involved. Berryman Partners understands this. We can provide you with friendly and personalised advice that helps you to understand every step involved and will allow you to start thinking about your future.
The divorce process
Divorce is the process by which your marriage legally comes to an end. It is carried out through an application to the Federal Magistrates Court. The application can be made by you alone or jointly with your spouse. If you make the application individually, you do not need the consent of your spouse.
It is important to remember that in Australia we have a “no fault” divorce system. This means that you do not need to prove any wrongdoing on the part of your former spouse. The only requirement which your application must satisfy is that your marriage has broken down irretrievably. This means that there must be no reasonable prospect of you and your partner getting back together. In practice, this usually requires you to show that you have been continually separated for a period of 12 months.
If you have been married less than two years, you will be required to undertake counselling to show that you have considered reconciliation before your divorce application will be approved.
Where there are children of the marriage who are under the age of 18, the Court must be satisfied that proper arrangements have been made for the children. These arrangements will relate to matters such as where the children are to live and how much time the children are to spend with each parent.
Once the application is filed it will be sealed by the Court and you will be given a court date. If the application was filed by you alone, you must then arrange for a sealed copy of the application to be served on your spouse no later than 28 days prior to the hearing date (however, you cannot serve it yourself). If there are children of the marriage who are under 18, both you and your spouse must attend the hearing. If the application was filed jointly, however, you and your former spouse do not have to attend the hearing regardless of whether or not there are children.
We can assist you with the entire divorce process. We can prepare and file your application, advise you on the legal requirements and appear for you at the hearing. We are committed to making this process as smooth and efficient as possible. We listen to you and always act in your best interests so that you can commence the next stage of your life with peace of mind.
It is important to remember that obtaining a divorce is a separate process from obtaining a property settlement or parenting orders.
Whilst the divorce application brings your marriage to a legal end, it does not do anything to affect your marital property or the children of the marriage. We can also assist you with these procedures. You can find more information about this at our Family and De Facto Law page.
Once a divorce is approved and finalised, you only have 12 months in which to apply for a property settlement or parenting orders. After this time, you will have to obtain the permission of the Court if you wish to deal with these matters.
- Do I need to get a divorce?
- Do I need my partner’s consent to file an application for divorce?
- Do my partner and I need to be living separately in order to prove separation?
- When is a divorce final?