Divorce is one of the most contested family law issues. However, many people do not quite comprehend the divorce process. They often rely on movies and reality television, which twist facts or give misleading information. Below are some divorce FAQs to help you comprehend the Australian divorce process.
How Is Separation Different From Divorce?
A couple can choose to live separately if unresolved issues prevent them from living in the same house. This is known as separation and is a requirement in any divorce case. The separation proves to the courts that the union is irretrievably broken and that the couple no longer intends to extend their marriage. Divorce is the formal process that dissolves a marriage or de-facto relationship. However, a divorced couple must meet their parental responsibilities to their kids and financial obligations to their spouses. As such, the courts require a divorcing couple to draft financial and parental contracts to prevent disputes once they dissolve their marriage.
How Do You Apply For Divorce?
A divorce application is pretty straightforward in Australia. You make an online application, and the Family Court approves your divorce if you meet the requirements. Besides separating, you must be an Australian citizen or married to one. The Family Court requires a counselling certificate in some cases. Your solicitor can give you more information on that. The Family Court schedules a mandatory hearing if you have kids. Ideally, you should draft a parenting agreement before this hearing. In its absence, the court gives temporary orders on how to raise your kids. These orders can be amended to suit your needs. Alternatively, you could file a parental agreement that precedes these orders.
If you had joint property, the court expects you to draw a financial settlement contract that details how you intend to share the shared property. However, you can move to court for a ruling if you cannot agree. For instance, you might want spousal maintenance or a share of your spouse's inheritance. The judge refers to the Family Law statutes and the principles of fairness and equity when making a ruling.
What Happens If Your Spouse Is Against Divorce?
Do not panic if your spouse is against the divorce process. Ideally, the only way to contest the divorce is if you do not meet the eligibility criteria. For instance, you might have reconciled during the one-year separation. They can also challenge the divorce if your union is not recognised in the country. However, if you meet the prescribed requirements, your lawyer works ways around the issue. For instance, they could ask the courts to award you a divorce in the absence of your spouse.
Reach out to a family law firm like Marriott Oliver Solicitors Pty Ltd to learn more.