Divorce is usually not easy for anyone involved; not for the spouse thinking it over in their head for a while and certainly not for the spouse that might be asked for a divorce seemingly out of nowhere. However, there are also those cases where both parties realize that marriage is simply not working and choose to end their union.
Regardless of the situation, you’re faced with, chances are that you are in search of a way to make this entire process less complicated and painful. If you live in Australia, here is what you have to know.
Understand who can apply for divorce in Australia
First of all, it’s important that you know who can apply for a divorce in Australia. There are three conditions and it’s enough to meet only one. You or your spouse must regard the country as your home or intend to live there indefinitely. Then, one of you must ordinarily live in Australia for at least 12 months before filing for divorce.
Finally, if you are Australian citizens either by birth or descent or by being granted Australian citizenship, you are able to apply for divorce in the Land Down Under. It’s also crucial to note that it doesn’t matter if you were married overseas as long as you have a marriage certificate that is written in or translated into English.
Consider a joint application for divorce
The easiest way to get a divorce in Australia is by filing a joint application. If you and your spouse are both in agreement when it comes to divorce, this is usually the quickest and most cost-effective approach. In case you have no children and no property or assets to divide, you will not require legal assistance or pay service fees. What is more, even if you have kids that are under 18, your application will be dealt with in chambers, so without attorneys or high legal fees.
Complete an Application for Divorce form
On the other hand, in case you and your partner cannot agree on the divorce, you can complete an Application for Divorce form and swear or affirm it in the presence of an attorney, a Justice of the Peace, or someone who is authorized to witness your signature. You can also do this if you are overseas, as long as you sign the form in the presence of an authorized person.
In addition to the form, you will also need to include a photocopy of your marriage certificate and a counselling certificate in case you were married for less than two years. If you live in NSW and think you will need help with the paperwork, you can always turn to a family lawyer from Sydney for some professional advice.
Opposing the application
Seeing as how the only ground for divorce in Australia is the fact that the marriage broke down and there is no likelihood that the spouses will reconcile, this means that there are not many opportunities for a spouse to oppose the divorce application.
The spouses being separated from one another for at least 12 months and one day is the only proof that the Court needs to see to conclude that the marriage has broken down beyond repair.
Therefore, one of the ways to oppose the divorce application is to prove that the separation has not lasted for that period of time. The only other scenario when a spouse can oppose the application is when the Court does not have jurisdiction in the case.
Finishing up the process
In case no one opposes the divorce, the Court will decide on the application. In both sole and joint applications, you are not required to attend the court hearing if there are no children under the age of 18. What is more, even if you have kids that are not yet of legal age, you don’t need to attend the hearing if you filed a joint application.
However, in case of a sole application with a child under 18, you must attend the hearing and your partner as well if they have chosen to oppose the application. Finally, you need to remember that the court only grants you divorce, it does not decide on the parenting arrangements or property division, which is something the parties have to make an agreement on or seek an order from the court.
As you can see, divorce in Australia is pretty straightforward. If you can prove that you and your partner have been separated for over a year, there should be no problems or dragged out processes.