Most clients believe that divorce is all-encompassing, which means that it serves as the ultimate resolution to financial issues, parenting matters, and child support or alimony, among others. What many fail to realise is that divorce is an entirely separate process from the aforementioned, which is a pretty straightforward aspect of separation.
The chances are that you seek divorce only to find out that you want to deal with a property settlement dispute or sort out parenting arrangements with the other party. For a clearer and better understanding, we’ll cover the relation of divorce with property or maintenance rights that you should know.
The divorce process in Australia
In a nutshell, divorce is a formal, legal end of the parties’ union. This simply means that both parties are no longer legally married.
- Process: Divorce is a largely administrative process where you or the other party (or both) have to apply to the Family Court for a Divorce Order. In certain circumstances, you and the other party may have to attend a short hearing.
- Timeline: The entire process generally takes at least four months from the date of filing the divorce application.
- Cost: The overall cost depends on factors such as lawyer assistance, issues of overseas marriage, children under 18 years of age, and disputes over the separation date, among others. However, there’s a filing fee for a divorce application that you should take note of.
- Ground: Irreconcilable difference is the sole ground for divorce in Australia. This should be proven by a period of not less than 12 months of separation.
The relation of divorce on property or maintenance rights
It’s worth knowing that parenting matters and property settlement or maintenance disputes are more complex issues than the divorce grant. This simply means that granting a divorce doesn’t arrive at a resolution for parenting matters and property settlement or maintenance issues.
The only relation of property or maintenance right with divorce is its filing for a settlement. Application for property settlement must be filed within 12 months of your divorce becoming final. If not, such an application must be heard and determined separately by the court.
In most cases, separating couples will seek legal advice quickly after separation. This means that parties will have already resolved their financial settlement or have filed an application for property settlement even before they can apply for divorce.
The need for divorce
The biggest question is: Do you have to get divorced? The answer is not necessarily. Some people choose to be legally married despite the separation due to their legal obligations and the impact on other complex matters. These matters include the distribution of deceased, Family Provision claims, and decision-making should they become incapacitated. However, staying legally married means that you cannot get married again to another person.
We hope that this blog has shed some light on what you need to know about the process of divorce in Australia. On a more specific note, we hope this has led you to understand better how divorce and property or maintenance rights correlate with each other.
If you’re looking for a divorce lawyer in Rozelle, get in touch with us to see how we can help you.
This article is intended to provide general information. You should obtain professional advice before you undertake any course of action.