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At Armour Allen Lawyers, we understand the stresses and implications that is associated with relationship breakdowns arising from a divorce or separation. Our family law lawyers can assist you in obtaining your divorce in a cost-effective and timely matter. With over 40 years experience, we have the necessary skills and expertise to handle any major or minor cases relating to relationships conflicts.
In order to bring an application for a divorce, your marriage must have irretrievably broken down which is demonstrated by you and your spouse living separately and apart for a period of at least 12 months.
While a 12 month period of separation is the only reason to obtain a divorce, it is possible to qualify even if:
- You were separated but living under the same roof for some or all of the 12 month period.
- You and your spouse have attempted reconciliation and lived together for a short time but have had several periods of separation amounting to 12 months in total.
There is no requirement for any party to be ‘at fault’ to obtain a divorce. The Court must only be satisfied that you were married and that you were subsequently separated for 12 months.
There is a requirement on parties who have been married for less than two years to undergo counseling to discuss reconciliation before a divorce will be granted. It is possible to request permission from the Court to bring the application for divorce without complying with the counseling requirement, for example where parties live far apart or there has been domestic violence.
If you have children, the Court will want to know what arrangements you have made for the ongoing care of the children before granting your divorce. This information forms part of the application submitted to the Court. You or your solicitor on your behalf, may be required to attend the Court hearing if you have children under the age of 18; however attendance is not required if you make a joint application with your estranged spouse. Attendance can be by telephone if you are unable to physically attend the hearing and have not engaged a solicitor to do so on your behalf.
Some circumstances may make applications for divorce more complicated, such as:
- You are or were separated but living under the same roof
- You are unable to locate your spouse
- You were married overseas
- You have children under the age of 18
- You were married less than two years
- You have been served with an application for divorce by your spouse but do not agree with the information in the application
Our specialist family lawyers can provide assistance with all aspects of your divorce, including completion of the application and any supporting affidavit, serving the application on your spouse and attending the Court hearing (if required).
If the Court is satisfied that you meet the criteria for a divorce (and provided that there is no subsequent appeal of the decision), the divorce will be granted and will take effect after the expiration of one month from the date of the hearing. After that time you are free to remarry.
Your spousal can only oppose your application for a divorce in very limited circumstances:
- If you have not lived separately and apart for 12 months
- If the Court does not have jurisdiction to hear the application.
You do not need to be divorced to apply for a property settlement. However, you must commence Court proceedings for property settlement within 12 months of your divorce taking effect if you have not already resolved your division of property.
For more information on this topic or to discuss next steps, please contact our office. We also offer a first free interview at no cost and no obligation.