How Long May You Be Legally Separated Before Getting Divorced In Australia?

August 25, 2021    divorcelawyersperthwa
How Long May You Be Legally Separated Before Getting Divorced In Australia?

A familiar doubt for everyone who wants to get divorced is how long it will take. But this is a tricky question that cannot be answered simply. A divorce takes quite a few months to complete. The time begins from when you file the application and lasts till the court issues a divorce order. But filing an application also consumes some time. The duration of this timeframe depends on whether both the spouses agree on the facts mentioned in the divorce application.

However, before taking any step or filing for a divorce, there are certain things that you need to know. Here’s a quick look into the major concepts that you should know about divorce, separation, and several other aspects.

Difference Between Divorce And Separation

You should know the difference between divorce and separation before you file for one. Separation happens when one party decides that the relationship has ended and communicates it to the other party. In a separation, the communication is acted upon. But physical separation does not mean an end to the marital bond. Separation is a departure from a few things that characterise it. Separation does not involve being physically separated from a person or place, such as the former matrimonial home. There are many separation lawyers available in Perth.

On the other hand, a divorce is a court order. It states that you are no longer married in the eyes of the law. A divorce order is obtained by one or both parties depending on who filed it. A couple can file for divorce only after being separated for a year. This can include a period where a couple decides to remain separated under one roof. A divorce application can be made successfully only after making proper arrangements for any child in that marriage below 18 years.

How To File For Divorce

The court is not interested in knowing whose fault led to the downfall of the relationship. The court will focus on ensuring that certain requirements have been met. The requirements are as follows:

  • You and your spouse have to be separated for a minimum of 12 months. As mentioned earlier, living under the same roof during the separation period is allowed.
  • The breakdown of the marriage is irreversible. This means that there have to be no possibilities of reconciliation while filing for a divorce.
  • Lastly, either you or your spouse has to be a citizen of Australia. It means that Australia has to be your permanent address.

But a couple married for less than two years will have to follow a different set of rules. A couple married for less than two years will have to be separated for two years to file a divorce. The couple will have to attend counselling sessions under a registered counsellor. Special permission is required to apply for divorce be granted earlier.

Sole Application Or Joint Application?

If you are filing a divorce yourself, it will be counted as a sole application. If you apply for a divorce with your partner, it is considered a joint application. In the case of a joint application, a couple is not required to attend court hearings. A couple is also exempted from attending court hearings if there are no children below the age of 18 in the marriage. However, you will have to attend court hearings if you are a sole applicant and a child under the age of 18 is involved.

It has to be proven in the court that proper arrangements have been made for the child. There are special cases under which divorce is granted even though no arrangements have been made for the children. Divorces are finalised after the completion of one month and one day after the divorce is granted. This is when the court issues the Divorce Order. The Divorce Order was formerly known as a Certificate of Divorces.

You can hire a divorce lawyer in Perth if you want to. But not all divorces require the involvement of an lawyer.

Why Are Divorce Proceedings Delayed

A divorce is finalised within a few months if everything happens smoothly. It depends on how early you can get a hearing date from the court. But the process of divorce often experiences certain delays. In the case of a sole application, there is a high chance that the process will be delayed. A sole applicant may face difficulties in getting the papers signed by their partner.

On the other hand, there can be problems with the paperwork. The couple may also fail to follow the steps involved in the process. The court keeps adjourning a hearing date in case of these scenarios. A delay may also occur if the court feels that the provisions to protect the child in the marriage are not enough. You are required to satisfy the court with the arrangements made for the child.

Time Limits

There is no particular timeframe within which you have to apply for divorce. You are not needed to wait till your divorce is finalised for obtaining a property settlement. You can formulate arrangements for your children before the divorce gets final. But after your divorce becomes final, you have 12 months to appear before the court to seek a property settlement. Couples appear before the court only when they are unable to make the settlements themselves.

You have to appear before the court before the limitation date expires. If you fail to do so, you will lose your right to make an application before the court. You will have to make a formal application to proceed after the time limit. However, the application remains unsuccessful most of the time.

If your limitation date expires, you should seek legal advice. Consult divorce lawyer in your area to get useful tips on how to make an out of time application.

Final Thoughts

Getting a divorce can be tricky. But taking legal advice helps you in following the correct procedure. You should file for a divorce only after being separated for 12 months. It is recommended to follow all the necessary steps to ensure that the process runs smoothly. The court will pay attention to the arrangements you have made for your children. Always remember to make arrangements that are in the best interest of your children.

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