Australia has established the principle of no-fault divorce. This means that when granting a divorce, the Court does not consider why the marriage ended in its decision. The only grounds for which a Court will grant a divorce is when the marriage has broken down and there is no reasonable likelihood that the parties will reconcile.
When applying for a divorce in Australia you need to have been separated for a period of at least 12 months. Depending on your personal circumstances your application and supporting documentation may differ so it is always best to seek legal advice to avoid unnecessary costs and delays.
Upon separation, it is highly recommended that parties undergo a formal division of property. A separation of parties can include those that are of a matrimonial relationship or a de-facto relationship.
A property settlement will include division of the parties assets, liabilities and financial resources.
There are time limits with respect to property settlements. Unlike divorce, there is no minimum time period you have to wait to commence a property settlement. A maximum time limit however does apply. An application must be made to a Court for a property settlement within the following time periods:
- 1 year of a divorce becoming “absolute” for married couples. Noting that a divorce becomes “absolute” when the Court issues a Certificate of Divorce, this usually being 1 month and 1 day after the divorce hearing; or
- 2 years from separation for de-facto couples.
When parties separate, disagreements about how and where children should be raised can arise.
Parenting agreements are always attempted to be reached through mediation however if this is not possible an application for Consent Orders can be made through the Courts. Issues most commonly negotiated are how much time children spend with each parent, parental responsibility and schooling.
In some circumstances a party may be eligible for Legal Aid and we are able to assist with this.
To arrange a time to speak with one of our solicitors in relation to Family Law enquiries, please telephone our offices on (08) 8323 9066.