Information About Divorce Proceedings
- WHY SHOULD I SEE A DIVORCE LAWYER?
- HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET A DIVORCE?
- WHAT INFORMATION DOES THE COURT NEED TO GRANT A DIVORCE?
- ARE THERE ANY ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS?
- WHAT ARE THE COSTS INVOLVED IN OBTAINING A DIVORCE?
WHY SHOULD I SEE A DIVORCE LAWYER?
When the relationship between a husband and wife breaks down, one – or both – of the parties might wish to file for divorce. At Hosking Legal, we understand that divorce can be a particularly tough and trying time, and our divorce solicitors based in Wollongong are equipped to guide you through this often stressful and emotional time in your life.
Our vastly experienced, dedicated, and close-knit team of legal practitioners are willing to offer your case the attention to detail that it deserves as we assist you through the entire divorce process. As we acquire a divorce for you order that will legally bring your marriage to an end, we will endeavour to save you from any additional and unnecessary stress or further financial hardship with a speedy resolution obtained through our efficient and cost-effective family law services.
WHAT ARE THE COSTS INVOLVED IN OBTAINING A DIVORCE?
At Hosking Legal, we offer a fixed fee for professional services in obtaining a divorce order. Please see our fees page. In addition to our one time, lump sum professional fee, you will also have to pay a filing fee with the court, a small fee for the documents to be served on the other party, and in some cases fees for translating documents that are not in English.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET A DIVORCE?
To apply for a divorce, a person files an application in the Federal Circuit Court of Australia. The application for divorce is separate from any property settlement or parenting proceedings. That is, you do not have to formalise your property matters or parenting matters before you apply for divorce.
At the time you apply for a divorce, you must pay a filing fee to the court. Your application will then be listed before a court Registrar approximately 6 weeks after you file your documents.
After your documents are filed, you must serve the documents on the other party. At Hosking Legal, we instruct licensed process servers to ensure that all documents are served within the relevant timeframes and in accordance with the court’s requirements.
On the day of your divorce hearing, if the Registrar is satisfied that all the criteria have been met, the Registrar will make a divorce order. The divorce order does not take effect straight away; divorce orders take effect one month and one day after the order is made. This period can only be shortened in special circumstances.
One month and one day after your divorce hearing, the divorce order from the court will be forwarded to you for your records. At this point, you are free to re-marry if you wish to do so.
WHAT INFORMATION DOES THE COURT NEED TO GRANT A DIVORCE?
The court needs to be satisfied of certain things before it will make a divorce order. Firstly, you will need to show the court that you are eligible to apply for a divorce. You can apply for a divorce if either the husband or the wife of the marriage is:
- An Australian citizen;
- Domiciled in Australia (that is, you regard Australia as your home and you intend to keep living in Australia); or
- Ordinarily resident in Australia (that is, you live in Australia and have lived in Australia for one year before filing your application for divorce)
Secondly, you will need to prove that there was a valid marriage. This can be shown by attaching your marriage certificate to your application for divorce. Sometimes people have lost their marriage certificate, or their marriage certificate is not in English. Hosking Legal can provide advice on what to do if these issues affect you.
Thirdly, the court needs to be satisfied that the marriage has broken down. In Australia, we have a ‘no fault’ divorce system. This means the court does not ask about the reasons for separation. The only ground for divorce is that there has been an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.
The court needs to be satisfied that the husband and wife have been separated for at least 12 months and that there is no chance of the parties resuming married life. Usually this is demonstrated when the parties have been living at separate addresses for at least 12 months. However, the court does recognise that sometimes parties to a marriage have been ‘separated under the one roof’. If you separated from your partner but remained in living in the same house, our solicitors can assist you to show the court that there was an ending of the life of the marriage even though you were still living at the same address.
Fourthly, the court needs to be satisfied that the other party is aware of the divorce application. If you cannot prove that the other party knows about your application, the court will adjourn the matter so that you can show your former partner has been provided with a copy of the court documents.
Finally, the court must be satisfied that proper arrangements have been made for any children of the marriage. If either you or your partner has a child or children under 18 years of age, the court can make a declaration that proper arrangements have been made for the care, welfare and development of the child or children. Sometimes the court is not satisfied that proper arrangements have been made but there are circumstances that mean the court should still make the divorce order. Hosking Legal can provide you with advice about what information the court requires to be satisfied that proper arrangements have been made.
ARE THERE ANY ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS?
If you and your spouse were married for less than two years, there is an additional requirement that you and your spouse must attend an appointment with a family counsellor to discuss the possibility of reconciliation, or you must file an affidavit outlining why you cannot attend counselling. Our solicitors can provide you with further information about this requirement if you have been married for less than two years.
If you would like to speak with one of our family law solicitors about obtaining a divorce, please contact us today.