divorce and separations

Getting a divorce can be a very stressful and difficult experience. Whilst it is advised that a couple should consider counselling or to try to sort out their issues before separating, sometimes some problems just cannot be resolved or improved.

In Australia, the only reason to get a divorce is an irretrievable breakdown of marriage, which means that there is no reasonable likelihood of resuming married life. To get a divorce after the marriage has irretrievably broken down, you and your partner must have lived separately for at least one year. It is possible to live separately and apart while still living in the same house during the separation period. However, this complicates the situation and would need the help of a solicitor, as well as someone who knows both you and your partner who can provide evidence to the court that you have lived separate lives while still under the same roof.

If there are no problems over children, the case may be simple to obtain a divorce. It is important to instruct a solicitor if you and your partner are in dispute about a child or child support, as a court may not approve a divorce unless it believes that proper arrangements have been made for children less than 18 years old. Both parents are responsible for financially assisting their children until each child turns 18 years old. Child support can be paid as the parents agree, or assessed by the Child Support Agency. Maintenance payments may also be required if one spouse is unable to support themselves after separation. In addition, advice from a solicitor about your legal rights should be obtained before you try to solve any disputes over property and financial assets. By obtaining a solicitor, a solicitor would be able to advise you about the rights you have regarding children, maintenance and property, as well as negotiate a settlement of financial or parenting issues on your behalf.

You may also be able to oppose a divorce application, but this may be hard to do in certain circumstances, for example, where you have been separated for more than 12 months. However, where there has not been a 12 month separation period as stated in the application, a divorce application can be opposed.

If you would like advice on your divorce application or need help with any other legal matter, our lawyers at Lex Fori Lawyers are able to assist you.