All about divorce

All about divorce

26 April 2022 Authored by: Tiana Harris   |   Topics: Family law

In this video, CGW family lawyer Tiana Harris talks us through all things divorce.

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT

Hi. I’m Tiana, and I’m a lawyer in the Family Law Team here at Cooper Grace Ward. Today I’m going to be talking about all things divorce.

Firstly, to start off with, in Australia, we have a no fault divorce system. Prior to the Family Law Act in 1975, we actually had a fault based system where there were about ten grounds you had to prove, such as habitual drunkenness, insanity or adultery. This meant that a spouse would hire a private investigator and the private investigator would follow the other spouse around and try to catch them in any sort of wrongdoing. So, when the Family Law Act came into force in 1975, it really encouraged both spouse parties to engage in alternative dispute resolution and sort of got rid of the hostility surrounding divorce.

So, now in Australia, the only ground of divorce you have to prove is that the marriage has broken down irretrievably and there’s no reasonable likelihood of reconciliation. And to establish this ground you have to show that you have been separated for 12 months, and separation can be physical, that you’ve moved out of one property or you can even be separated under the one roof. So, in terms of filing documents for your divorce, you can apply with your partner jointly, which means that you share equally in the filing fee and it usually means that you don’t have to attend the divorce hearing even if you have children under 18. If you want to file a sole application for divorce, you can certainly do so. This means that you will be responsible for the filing fee in full, which at the moment is about $940. And if you have children under the age of 18, you will need to attend the divorce hearing.

So, once you’ve been to the court hearing or the divorce has been heard in absence, if it was a joint application you will receive a divorce order one month and one day from the hearing date. This means that the marriage has been dissolved and it really starts a time limit that you have 12 months from that date to sort out your property settlement and spousal maintenance matters by either commencing proceedings in court or finalising those matters by way of consent orders or a financial agreement. If you don’t finalise these matters within the 12 months time limit period, you will need to seek the consent of your partner or you will need to seek leave of the court to commence proceedings.

Should you have any questions about what I’ve just talked about in relation to divorce, please do not hesitate to contact me or one of the other lawyers in the Family Law Team.

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