Divorce is a difficult process for all parties involved. If there are children of the marriage, divorce may lead to issues with respect to parenting arrangements and as well as child support issues. Conflict with respect to property division may also arise as parties are left to divide between themselves all of their assets and liabilities acquired throughout the marriage.
At Szabo & Associates, we are sensitive to the emotional and psychological stress our clients face when going through a divorce.
We aim to support our client’s through their divorce processes and utilise our legal expertise to make the divorce process as easy and stress free as possible.
As your legal advisor, we will:
1. Discuss the divorce process with you.
2. Advise you of the likely outcome.
3. Attend to the preparation of relevant Court documents.
4. Attend Court on your behalf.
5. Keep you up to date every step of the way.
Prior to the Court granting a divorce, it must be satisfied that there has been an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage and that there is no reasonable likelihood of the husband and wife resuming married life.
The Court will grant a Divorce if, and only if, it is satisfied that the parties separated and thereafter lived separately and apart for a continuous period of not less than 12 months immediately prior to the date of filing for the Application for Divorce.
Your marriage certificate may be used to prove that you had a valid marriage.
If you were married in Australia, you may obtain a copy of your marriage certificate from the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages in the capital city you were married.
If you were not married in Australia and do not have a copy of your marriage certificate and are unable to obtain a copy, you will need to provide an affidavit to the Court.
If your marriage certificate is not in English you will need to file an English translation of it and an affidavit from the translator.
If you and your spouse have been married for less than 2 years, then prior to applying for a divorce you will be required to:
- Attend counselling with a family counsellor to discuss the possibility of reconciliation with your spouse; or
- If you do not attend counselling, seek permission from the Court to apply for a divorce.
It is important to note that the fact that you were married in Australia is not grounds enough to apply for a divorce in Australia.
If you were married overseas, you may still be entitled to apply for a divorce in Australia.
To be eligible to apply for a divorce in Australia, you or your spouse must meet at least one of the following criteria:
- Regard Australia as your home and intent to live indefinitely in Australia.
- Australian citizen by birth or descent.
- Australian citizen by grant of an Australian citizenship.
- Ordinarily live in Australia and have done so for 12 months prior to filing for divorce.
At least one spouse must regard the marriage as over on the date of separation and must have communicated this to the other spouse in some way.
It is possible for you and your spouse to be separated but to continue living under the one roof during the 12 months prior to applying for a divorce. If this is the case, then you will have to prove to the Court that you were separated during this time.
You and your spouse can live together as husband and wife for one period of up to 3 months after separation.
If you and your spouse have children then the Court will only grant a divorce if it is satisfied that:
- Proper arrangements are made for all children currently under 18; or
- There are special reasons why the divorce should be granted even though proper arrangements for all children are not made.
The law provides that a child of the marriage includes:
- Any child of you and your spouse, including children before the marriage or after separation;
- Any child adopted by you or your spouse; or
- Any child who was treated as a member of your family prior to your final separation.
At the time of filing your Application for Divorce, the Court will provide you with a time and date for a hearing. This hearing date is usually 9 to 10 weeks later however can be longer depending upon the volume of cases within the Court.
Once the divorce is granted, there is a further wait of one month and one day until the divorce becomes final at which time the Court will issue a certificate of divorce.
While an Application for Divorce need only be completed by one spouse (sole application), without providing a copy of the Application to your spouse in accordance with the law, the Court may not deal with your matter.
If you are unable to provide a copy of the Application to your former spouse because you do not know where they are, despite making every possible effort to find them, then you may be able to apply to the Court to seek an order to dispense with service or for substituted service.
At Szabo & Associates we believe that separation doesn’t have to be harmful for children if it is managed well.
Whilst some parents may be able to reach an agreement with respect to their child/ren’s living arrangements after a divorce, many cannot. We take a collaborative and pragmatic approach to parenting matters.
We do our best to facilitate a resolution between the parties and to prevent unnecessary parental conflict.
Once your divorce becomes final, you have 12 months to make an application for property or maintenance orders.
If you wish to make an application after the 12 month period you will have to obtain the Court’s permission to apply.
We can provide advice and guidance on:
- Property settlements
- Spouse maintenance
- Binding Financial Agreements
Contact Szabo & Associates Family Law Solicitors Sydney, NSW
Contact Szabo & Associates Family Law Solicitors now Take the first step to your new future. Our family lawyers can assist you no matter how difficult the situation. Call us on 02 9281 5088 or click here to get in touch.
This information is general in nature and is not intended to be relied upon as legal advice. We urge that you obtain legal advice before acting upon anything you read in this article.