Family Law

Divorce

– Navigating you through the process of a divorce application

Apply for a divorce

Getting a divorce can bring up a range of different emotions. You may have been separated for some time or have just made the decision to proceed with a divorce. We are here to help you through the process of having your divorce legally recognised. You cannot apply for a divorce until you have been separated for at least 12 months. 

Our experienced family lawyers can assist with divorce applications for local Gippsland residents and beyond. 

Determining the date of separation

Sometimes determining the date of separation can be difficult. For many, it is the date that one party moves out of the home.  For others, the precise date of separation may be less clear. Factors to assist in determining the date of separation include: sleeping arrangements, financial arrangements, eating arrangements, and in particular, when a separation is announced to family and friends.

On some occasions, part of that separation period may have included a husband and wife being separated under the one roof.  If that is the case, then the Applicant needs to also file an Affidavit setting out further information about the relationship including sleeping arrangements, eating arrangements, financial arrangements and how the couple have portrayed their relationship to family and friends since the date determined to be the separation date. 

The Applicant will also need an independent person who knows the couple to also do an Affidavit on these factors. The legislation also allows for a resumption of cohabitation which does not interfere with the 12 month separation period, as long as the resumption of cohabitation is for a period of 3 months or less.

What you need to know about applying for a divorce

  • If the husband and wife have been married for less than 2 years, then they are required to also submit a Counselling Certificate prior to being able to apply for a divorce. 
  •  An Application for Divorce can be made by one party only or the husband and wife can make an application jointly.
  • If a joint application is made to the Court, then there is no appearance required on the date that the divorce is listed at the Court.
  • When you make an Application for a Divorce you must provide a copy of your marriage certificate.

Get assistance with your divorce application

If one party applies for the divorce, then an appearance is required by either the applicant or their legal representative on the day of Court if there are children under the age of 18 years.  If there are no children of the marriage under 18 years then an appearance is not required.

When one party is applying for a divorce, after the documents have been filed with the Court, it is imperative that those documents are served upon the other spouse within a certain time frame.  The other party also needs to sign an acknowledgement of service documentation which is then returned to the applicant for them to file with the Court.

Once the divorce is listed in Court it is considered by the Registrar either in open Court if it requires an appearance or in their chambers if it does not require an appearance.  If the Divorce is granted, the Family Law Act states that it will not become absolute until one month and one day after that Court date. A Divorce Order Certificate is sent by the Court to both the husband and wife or their legal representatives after that one-month time frame.

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