When it comes to the difficult question of divorce, most people don’t know where to start or how the process works. Here we take a look at the divorce process and some of the issues you need to consider.
When to divorce?
This is a personal decision, driven by your own requirements and situation. The only condition is that you must have been separated for at least 12 months. If you’ve been married for under two years, you’ll also need to show the court that you’ve considered reconciliation and undertaken counselling.
It’s vital to understand that the settlement of any property of the marriage is separate to the divorce process. Note that time limits apply – if you apply for a divorce immediately after the 12 months separation, you must deal with the property settlement within one year of the divorce. If you don’t, you’ll no longer be able to bring proceedings against the other party to deal with the property of the marriage without obtaining leave of the Family Court, which may not be granted
The Divorce Process
The divorce process consists of two steps – the application and the hearing:
The Divorce Application
You must apply to the Court – individually or jointly – for a divorce order and pay the required fee. You can apply in person or online through the Commonwealth Courts Portal. A hearing will then be scheduled.
The Divorce Hearing
Depending on the circumstances of your specific case, you may or may not be required to attend the divorce hearing. If you’ve filed a joint application, or if there are no minor children, attendance is not required.
However, if you’ve applied individually, you must serve the documents on the other party, receive a confirmation from them, and file an affidavit of service and an affidavit proving the spouse’s signature. These requirements also apply if there are children under the age of 18, in which case you will be required to attend the hearing.,
Where an individual application is filed, the other party may file a response to request changes, to point out errors of fact, or to object to the divorce. They are still not required to attend the hearing.
At the hearing, the judge will make enquiries about the divorce application and ensure there are proper arrangements for children. The parties will then be asked to confirm they wish to proceed with the divorce and the order will be made.
There is no doubt that divorce is a complicated and frustrating process. The guidance and support of an experienced divorce and separation lawyer can help you to manage this difficult and distressing time. With over 15 years’ of experience as divorce lawyers in Perth, Leach Legal is here to help.
We invite you to review the online resources on this website, such as the First Steps Guide and the Separation Checklist, then take the first steps towards peace of mind and book a free 15-minute consultation online.