Having access to expert advice on divorce law can help reduce the stress and expense often associated with the process. Our Divorce Solicitors have significant expertise in guiding clients undergoing a divorce. We help to simplify and streamline the divorce process and advise on:
- Divorce Applications
- Parenting Orders and Children’s Issues (custody & access)
- Child Support, Financial Agreements (“prenups”)
- Property Settlements (asset division)
- Estate Planning and more.
Our divorce lawyers are Sydney-based, but can help you anywhere in Australia. Your expert lawyer will help you to secure all entitlements and expedite the process to reduce the costs and pressures involved.
What are the requirements for obtaining a divorce in NSW?
For a divorce to be granted, the Federal Circuit Court must be satisfied that:
- there is a valid marriage
- the marriage has broken down irretrievably; that there is no prospect or reasonable likelihood of reconciliation
- that parties to the marriage have been separated for at least 12 months (365 days)
- where children are involved, the courts must also be satisfied that proper arrangements have been put in place for the ongoing care of the children
- for marriages of less than two years duration, it is also generally a requirement that counselling has been undertaken
- at least one spouse lives in Australia and that the other knows of the request to divorce.
Contact one of our divorce lawyers and benefit from our experience in all aspects of divorce and family law.
What is the process, and how can divorce lawyers help with it?
In order to finalise your divorce, our divorce lawyers will assist you in undertaking the following steps:
- Prepare your application for divorce, which must be signed by you.
- File your application for divorce with a copy of your marriage certificate. If you are unable to find your marriage certificate, we can request one for you from the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages. If it’s in another language – we arrange a certified translation.
- Deal with special rules such as where you are separated under one roof.
- Upon receipt of your documents, the Court will set a time and date for the hearing. The hearing is usually about two to three months after the date of filing of the divorce application.
- We will need to serve your application for divorce on your former partner no less than 28 days prior to your hearing. (If they are overseas, more time is required.)
- The hearing should only take approximately 15 minutes. If you have a child under the age of 18, you are required to attend the hearing – otherwise, there is no obligation to attend. We will represent you either way, and you are not required to speak or give any evidence.
- After the hearing, the court will give us a divorce certificate; issued one month and one day after the hearing.
Our divorce lawyers in Sydney can assist you with this process from start to finish.
What assets do I need to consider, when it comes to divorce?
Every relationship is different, and no two divorces will be the same, but there are some general things it is helpful to know when you are starting the divorce process with one of our divorce lawyers.
The property that you own, the property that your partner owns, and the property that you both own together is all considered property of the relationship. It is worth considering both your own and your partner’s property.
This includes things like:
- houses (both your home and any investment properties)
- vehicles (cars, boats etc)
- businesses or companies
- savings and other bank accounts
- gifts and inheritances
- compensation payouts
- insurance policies
- furniture and household items
- Mortgages, loans, and other debts are also considered property and will be taken into account.
Our divorce lawyers will guide you through the process.
An annulment – or declaration of nullity – is a finding that there was no legal marriage between two parties, even though a marriage ceremony may have taken place. You can apply to have your marriage annulled if:
- you were tricked or forced to marry someone
- one or both of you were already married to someone else at the time of the wedding
- one of the parties to the marriage was under 18
- you were not able to understand what the marriage ceremony was (for example because of an overseas ceremony where you didn’t understand the language)
- the parties did not comply with the laws in relation to the marriage in the place they were married
- the person you married is a close relative (parent, grandparent, child or sibling)
- either of the parties did not give their real consent to the marriage because:
- consent was obtained by duress or fraud,
- one party was mistaken as to the identity of who they were marrying or the nature of the ceremony,
- one party was mentally incapable of understanding the nature and the effect of the marriage ceremony.
In Australia, you cannot have a marriage annulled for a change of mind, not having lived together, non-consummation, or even because one partner commits serious crimes in the relationship such as domestic violence. You will have to apply for a divorce in these circumstances.
To arrange for an annulment, you or your divorce lawyer will have to file an Initiating Application, as well as an affidavit (a sworn or solemnly affirmed statement) which outlines :
- the facts relied on to have the marriage annulled,
- details of the type of marriage ceremony performed
As in the process for divorce, you must serve (or provide service to) the other party to the annulment, meaning you give them a copy of the important documents. Just as with divorce documents, these can be hand-delivered, delivered by post or through each party’s divorce lawyer. Documents must be served with more notice for an annulment than a divorce, 42 days before a court hearing for a spouse in Australia, 56 days for a spouse overseas.