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If you are married, you can only apply to the Court for a divorce after you have been separated for a period of 12 months.
Separation can occur while the parties are still cohabiting. Most of the time though, separation occurs when one party physically moves out of the family home.
We can assist you in preparing an application for divorce or ‘dissolution of your marriage’.
The application is usually very straight forward and many people do it themselves online. There are fairly substantial court fees that apply (around $1000). Once the application is filed online, it usually takes around 2 months to get before a Judge. It often depends on how busy the Court is. Sometimes you need to attend Court for the hearing of the matter. Often you don’t.
Some separating couples are able to continue to live together while the bigger issues are being sorted, but for most this is not possible or practical. The level of conflict might be having a detrimental effect upon both you and your children’s emotional well-being.
Someone usually must move out and find alternative accommodation.
Generally, if one party has been the child/children’s primary carer for the sake of stability for the children, that parent would remain in the home and the other party would move out.
If parties are unable to agree, then we are able to assist and provide you with advice on what to do. This includes our firm taking the matter up with your ex-partner or their lawyer and in rare cases we can go to Court to obtain an order permitting you to reside in the house to the exclusion of the other party. This is referred to as a Sole Occupancy Order.
It is important to know that in both de facto and marriage relationships, there are time limits which apply in relation to both property and spousal maintenance.
Most couples who separate, resolve their property/financial issues well and truly prior to their divorce.
If you are married, application for property and spousal maintenance must be made within 12 months of your divorce becoming final. Later applications require special permission from the Court but this permission is not always granted.
If you were in a de facto relationship your application for property settlement must be made or filed within the Court within 2 years of the separation of that de facto relationship.