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Divorce laws in Australia & Divorce lawyers: Everything you need to know

Going through a divorce is certainly a stressful process which requires all parties to be knowledgeable about the laws within Australia and seek out appropriate divorce lawyers to assist throughout the development.

The Family Law act has helped the divorce process become a much simpler one. This act has allowed the ‘no fault’ divorce principle, which outlines how the only ground for ending a marriage is because of the relationship breaking down for a permanent time-frame. Both parties can apply for a divorce. However, when the case arises that one party is wanting to initiate the divorce, the other parties’ thoughts are not taken into consideration. If planning on applying for a divorce, it is best to talk to a divorce lawyer to understand the details and laws surrounding the process.


Criteria check

There are certain criteria one must comply with when applying for a divorce. These can be further discussed with different divorce lawyers to gain a better understanding. A person can apply for a divorce if they consider Australia as their home, are living in the country permanently, if they are an Australian citizen by birth/descent or live in Australia and have for the past year before the filing of the divorce.

One of the key measures which will grant a divorce application is being able to prove to the court that both parties have been living separately for the past twelve months as well as no probability of the parties working on their relationship. It is also possible to live together and be separated. This requires witness evidence and proof from the parties that they do not behave like a married couple. Both parties should no longer share the same bed, carry on with household chores together or socialise with one another in a friendly manner. Divorce lawyers in Sydney will be able to assist in understanding the situation a person is in, as well as providing them with quality advice.

Filing for a divorce

When applying for a divorce, either party can apply for one if separated for more that 12 months. A divorce kit is available at the Family and Magistrates court. Divorce lawyers can assist in applying and obtaining the divorce kit. In the case that the divorce application is only made by one party, the serving of the divorce application can be one by anyone 18 years or over or a professional process server.

The party who has filed for the divorce does not have to personally serve the papers to the opposing party. There are also cases where the opposing party declines the documents. If this is the situation a person delivering the papers is faced in, they are permitted to place the document down in their presence stating who is seeking the divorce, showing the papers and notifying them about court procedures/dates for a hearing. Immediately after this had occurred, the person who served the documents is required to fill out a sworn affidavit with the time, date and place of service in front of a divorce lawyer/other solicitor/justice of peace.

A signature can also be obtained from the other party, acknowledging that they have been served. Divorce lawyers in Sydney should be at your beck and call if the situation starts to become complex and assistance is required.

Divorce opposed

Sometimes a divorce can start to get messy if the conflicting party wants to oppose the divorce. This can only be done if the couple has been separated for more than 12 months, or in the case that the court does not have jurisdiction. If this is the case and one does not want the divorce to be granted, a response to divorce application must be filled out and appearance on the hearing date is required. Simply filling out the response to divorce file is not enough. The grounds for seeking dismissal is required. This should be done within 28 days of being served if in Australia or 42 days, if served outside of Australia. Speaking to a divorce lawyer in Sydney is recommended if placed in this situation.

In the instance where the divorce was decided by both parties with no children under the age of 18 involved, the couple does not have to attend court proceedings. The marriage is usually dissolved through a quick hearing.

Tips …

A divorce does not just end there. Other issues start to arise after a marriage has ended which includes the separation of property, assets and children. These issues are often more complicated and require one to seek assistance from divorce lawyers. There are endless options when it comes to choosing divorce lawyers within Sydney. Selecting one that has your best interests at heart and understands your needs is crucial.

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