Divorce can be a painful and difficult time not only for you and your former partner, but also your friends and family. When a marriage simply doesn’t work, a divorce may be the way for both parties to lead happier, more positive lives. The process of getting a divorce in Australia can be complex, so it’s important to have a skilled solicitor by your side to help you.
At Pentana Stanton, we have the skills, knowledge, and experience to help you navigate divorce proceedings. If you’re considering a divorce or you’re just beginning the divorce process, here’s what you need to know about Australian divorce law.
Eligibility for Divorce in Australia
There are certain criteria that must be met in order to be eligible for a divorce under Australian law. In order to be eligible for divorce, you need to meet one of the following requirements:
- Currently live in Australia and plan to continue residing in Australia
- Are an Australian citizen
- Have lived in Australia for the last 12 months
In addition to meeting at least one of these requirements, you must be able to prove that you’ve been separated from your spouse for a minimum of 12 months and have lived separately during that time. There are circumstances where you may still live under the same roof but additional proof will be needed to satisfy the Court if you have lived separated under the one roof.
Applying for Divorce
You can now apply for divorce online using an interactive online questionnaire. This questionnaire will help you determine your eligibility to file for a divorce in Australia. If you are eligible, you will be able to complete and file your application online
The costs of a divorce is far cheaper than a wedding and is made up of three components.
01. Court Costs
The Court changes a standard filing fee for a divorce in Australia. This is currently set at $900, however, there are special circumstances that may allow you to pay a reduced fee of $300. These include if you hold a health care card, pensioners card, or any other concessions card or if you’re under the age of 18, to name a few. When filing a joint application, both parties must meet the reduced fee eligibility guidelines in order to be approved for the reduced fee.
02. Legal Fees
Your lawyers legal fees for preparation and appearance in your divorce are set by them and will be given to you when you begin the process.
03. Process Server Fees
The application for divorce must be given to the other party to the marriage. You are not able to do this yourself. Your lawyer will engage a professional to carry out this service and their fees will be the third cost.
No-Fault Divorce Principle
Australian divorce law does not consider the reason for the divorce, only that the relationship has no reasonable likelihood of continuing. Part of the no-fault principle is the 12-month separation requirement. When a married couple is separated for more than 12 months, it proves to the court that the marriage is beyond repair.
If you and your spouse have children, there are additional considerations to court proceedings and eligibility. Australian courts will only grant divorce approval if proper and reliable arrangements have been made for your children. If you have children under the age of 18, attendance at the hearing is required. The act of being granted a divorce does not dictate child arrangements, and these arrangements should be sought after by coming to an agreement with your spouse, negotiated with the help of your lawyer, or through additional court proceedings.
Navigating a divorce can be a trying time for everybody involved. Emotions often run high, families become separated and children can be impacted – no matter how hard you try to limit it. If you’re going through a divorce, you don’t have to go through it alone. To avoid difficulties and unexpected surprises, it is best to engage a lawyer to handle your divorce. Then it is more likely to be granted smoothly. The team at Pentana Stanton is here to help you not only with understanding the various steps in a divorce, but to also help you succeed after your divorce is finalised.
For more information on how we can help, contact the team at Pentana Stanton today.