Family law is a complex area of law and divorce proceedings are no different. Before you apply for a divorce, Victoria based couples should keep some of the following considerations in mind and consider seeking advice from an experienced family lawyer. Below, the team at Melbourne Law Studio has summarised some of the most pertinent things to be aware of before commencing divorce proceedings.
Time Limits for Parenting and Property Settlement
Within 12 months of the time of your divorce being finalised, matters such as the division of property and assets as well as parenting arrangements must be dealt with. If you delay taking legal steps, you may lose the right under the Family Law Act 1975. It’s essential, for this reason, to get legal advice as early as possible, usually even before the divorce is finalised.
Sole vs Joint Application for Divorce
You can apply for either a sole application or joint application for divorce. If you apply on your own, you must ‘serve’ the other party. This involves giving your ex-partner the divorce paperwork so they know about the proceedings. The Federal Circuit and Family Court have specific rules about serving documents and forms to prove the other person was served. For example, you can’t personally serve your former partner, but you can serve them by mail.
12 Month Separation for the Australian Divorce Process
Before you apply for a divorce, Victoria based couples must have been separated for at least 12 months. You can get back together once for up to 3 months without re-starting the 12-month separation period.
Living Separately Under One Roof
It is possible to get a divorce if you live in the same house. The court will consider whether:
- Sleep in the same bed
- Engage in sexual activity
- Share money and bank accounts
- Share meals and domestic duties
- Are considered by family and friends as having separated
If any of the above applies to you, you should start to prepare supporting affidavits with help from a lawyer.
Get Advice Today from Melbourne Divorce Lawyers
Got more questions about the Australian divorce process? Our team of Melbourne divorce lawyers can help. Book your free 15-minute consultation today with Melbourne Law Studio to find out more. Call us on 03 9021 1421 or contact us online.