When your marriage breaks down and you decide to separate, you will need to make major life decisions relating to your children, finances and property. You will also need to decide whether you should apply for a divorce. We understand that you will probably have to make these decisions at a highly emotional and confusing stage of your life. It makes sense to talk to us for calm, objective, expert legal advice.
What is the difference between a separation and a divorce?
"Separation" is the personal decision you make to end your marriage. "Divorce" is the formal legal recognition by the Family Court that your marriage has ended.
The only ground for divorce under the Family Law Act is an "irretrievable breakdown of marriage". This ground is established by satisfying the Court that you and your spouse have lived separately and apart for not less than 12 months before you file your application for divorce.
A solicitor can help protect your interests in divorce proceedings
Whilst the procedure for filing for divorce is relatively simple, you need to be aware of many related issues before and after you apply. For example -
- Is a sole or joint application appropriate?
- If you have been married for less than 2 years, special considerations apply.
- If you have children, the Family Court will not grant your divorce unless it is satisfied that appropriate arrangements have been put in place for your children.
- You must commence property division (and if applicable spousal maintenance) proceedings in the Family Court within 12 months from the date of your divorce.
- The act of divorce now automatically revokes your Will.