Irretrievable breakdown of marriage is the only legal reason for divorce in Australia. The Court is not interested in reasons; all you need to show is that you have lived apart for at least a year (separation) before filing for divorce.
As the process of divorce can be a complex and confusing time for many individuals, it’s important to align with an experienced divorce, separation or child custody lawyer to help you through the process. Visit the Perth team at Rattigan & Associates to find out everything you need to know following the breakdown of a marriage.
If you’ve separated and are wanting to file for a divorce, the requirements for obtaining a divorce in Australia are as follows:
- Marriage – You must first satisfy the Court that you have a valid marriage.
A marriage certificate, with a sworn translation into English, if necessary, will suffice. If you do not have a copy of a marriage certificate or require translation, we can arrange that for you. If no marriage certificate is available, the Court may require you to give some alternate evidence of the marriage prior to granting a divorce
- Jurisdiction – The Court only has power to grant a divorce if either party has one of the following attributes:
- Regards Australia as home
- Intends to live in Australia indefinitely
- Has lived his or her whole life in Australia
- Is an Australian citizen; or
- Ordinarily lives in Australia and has lived in Australia for the 12 months prior to the making of the application for divorce.
What is Considered ′Separation′ in Divorce Law
Before you can file for a divorce, the Court must be satisfied that the relationship has broken down irretrievably. A period of separation of 12 months immediately before filing the application satisfies the Court of this fact.
However, separation can be complicated – for example, it is possible to ‘live apart’ under the roof of the same house. A couple may be separated and still live together provided they satisfy the Court that they are not living as husband and wife.
If a couple reconcile during the period of separation, the separation period does not have to start again provided any reconciliation or reconciliations do not total more than three months – those three months do not count as part of the period of 12 months of separation.
At Rattigan & Associates, our team of experienced divorce and separation Lawyers in Perth will make sure you have the right evidence of separation and meet all the requirements necessary before filing for divorce.
Wondering, ‘How Long Should I Wait Before Contacting A Divorce Lawyer’?
If you’ve separated and are wondering, ‘how long should I wait before contacting a lawyer?’ The simple answer is – don’t wait. At Rattigan & Associates, we recommend seeking legal advice or assistance as soon as possible, regardless of your situation. From experience, we believe it’s important to seek legal advice straight after coming to the decision to separate from your partner as you will be in the right frame of mind to have those conversations about your current situation, before having any negotiations or conversations with your partner. Taking this initial advice back to your partner, amicably, may assist with all parties knowing exactly where they stand and what the future process will look like.
Separation, Divorce and How It Affects A Family
Filing for a divorce with children involved can be a stressful and confusing time for everyone in the family. If you have children and are wanting to file for a divorce, appropriate arrangements for any children must be in place before the Court will grant a divorce in Australia. Those arrangements do not have to be formal, but at the time of the divorce hearing the Court must be satisfied that the children are being appropriately cared and provided for.
Contact Us for A Free 10-Minute Consultation
As Perth’s leading professional divorce and separation lawyers, we are dedicated to delivering sound legal advice and offer private consultations face-to-face or via telephone, Skype or Zoom.
For a free initial 10-minute telephone consultation to find out how Rattigan & Associates can assist you, please contact us on (08) 6467 7179.