Leading Divorce Lawyers Perth
Divorce is the process through which you can either solely or jointly with your former partner dissolve or terminate your marriage.
A divorce is not necessary if you were in a de-facto relationship, as you were never married.
The process of obtaining a divorce is separate from obtaining a property settlement and making care arrangements for your children. Whilst property settlement and arrangements for your children are distinct issues, they can be dealt with simultaneously with applying for a divorce with the help of a divorce lawyer.
If you are thinking about using a lawyer for divorce, there are a few things you need to know:
Firstly, what is separation? Separation is when one partner communicates to the other that they do not wish to continue the relationship. The separation does not have to be agreed to. Being “separated” does not mean you have physically separated. The Court can consider a couple to have separated, even if they reside in the same house, as long as they satisfy some requirements (for example, sleeping separately). This may complicate your Divorce Application, so we would recommend speaking to one of our Divorce Lawyers if this applies to you.
You and your former partner need to have been separated for 12 months before a Divorce Application can be filed.
No Fault System
In Australia, we have a no-fault system, which means that the Court will not find that a marriage has broken down because either you or your former partner were at fault. The Court considers issues, such as infidelity, irrelevant.
If you were married overseas, you can still use the divorce process in Australia, as long as you and/or your former partner meet the citizenship or residency requirements and your marriage is recognised in Australia.
If your marriage certificate is not in English, you need to file an English translation of it, and an affidavit from the translator. We suggest that you speak to one of our divorce lawyers to ensure this is done correctly.
Citizenship and/or Residency
You can apply for a divorce in Australia if either you or your former partner:
- Regard Australia as your home and intend to live indefinitely in Australia;
- Are an Australian citizen by birth or descent;
- Are an Australian citizen by grant of an Australian Citizenship; or
- Live in Australia and have done so for 12 months immediately before filing for divorce.
You may need to provide a copy of your citizenship or residency when filing a Divorce Application.
Married for Less than 2 years
There are additional requirements when filing a Divorce Application if you and your former partner have been married for less than 2 years.
The two years is calculated from the date of the marriage to the date of applying for a Divorce. The two years includes the 12 months you must have been separated before filing the Divorce Application.
We suggest that you speak to one of our Divorce Lawyers regarding the requirements necessary for the Court to grant the Divorce when you have been married for less than 2 years.
Former Partner’s Whereabouts
There are strict rules which the Court requires you to comply with if your Application for Divorce is being made solely by you. This includes locating your former partner and having them served with your filed Application face-to-face by a third party. You must then file various other documents at the Court which prove that your former partner has received a copy of your Application for Divorce and is aware of the hearing date.
If you do not know where your former spouse is, or they refuse service of your Application, you can still proceed with your Divorce Application, however, there are additional requirements you will need to satisfy. One of our divorce lawyers can assist you with this.
Objecting to a Divorce
Your former spouse cannot object to a sole Application for Divorce simply because they do not want to be divorced. A party can only object to a Divorce Application if:
- You have not been separated for 12 months, or
- the Court does not have jurisdiction.
If you do not want the divorce granted, we suggest that you speak to one of our Divorce Lawyers as soon as possible.
If you want the divorce granted but disagree with the facts in the Application for Divorce, you should file the appropriate documents, as staying silent on the matter may impact your any future property settlement.
Please be aware that a Divorce does not resolve financial matters between you and your former partner.
It is important to know that time limits apply when a Divorce Order is made, which can affect your financial future. Once the Court makes a Divorce Order, you will only have 12 months to finalise the division of your assets, liabilities and superannuation entitlements, which can be done with the help of Perth lawyers.
At Calverley Johnston, one of our skilled Family Lawyers can assist you negotiation and formalise your property settlement, including division of your assets, liabilities and superannuation entitlements, spousal maintenance or child support, whilst waiting for your Divorce Order or within 12 months following your Divorce Order.
For more information on how are assets divided in a divorce Australia, please visit our Property Settlement page.
Care Arrangements for your Children
If you have children under the age of 18 years, you will need to notify the Family Court of Western Australia regarding the care arrangements for the children within the Divorce Application.
Please note that that the granting of a Divorce does not make these arrangements into a Court Order or determine the parenting arrangements. You will need to make a separate application to formalise the care of your children. We suggest that you attend family dispute resolution or speak to one of our family lawyers, who will be able to assist you with this.
Getting married again
Once you have filed your Application for Divorce and the Family Court of Western Australia has granted your Divorce, your Divorce Order will take effect (i.e. become official) one month and one day after the Divorce was granted.
There are circumstances that can delay the Court granting your Divorce, therefore we suggest you wait until your Divorce Order takes effect before making firm plans to marry.
Our legal team of Perth lawyers can help you with all aspects of making or responding to an Application for Divorce. Most importantly, we ensure you are provided with support and advice to avoid any legal consequences that may arise from a divorce.
If you need help with your Divorce, children’s arrangements, Child Support, surrogacy, Adoption or Asset Distribution in Perth, WA, our Divorce Lawyer at Calverley Johnston is ready to put their skills and reputation to work for you.