Divorces can be tough. With that said, if you prepare for yours, get expert legal help and know exactly what to expect, it can make the process less stressful and perhaps even preserve your relationship in the future.
To get you started here are four things you need to know before filing for divorce.
1. Your divorce won’t include financial and parenting arrangements
Divorce refers only to the process of legally ending your marriage. Splitting assets and finances, financial support arrangements and making plans to care for children are separate processes that won’t be dealt with as part of your divorce.
It’s always best to resolve these issues together outside of court. One great option is to prepare a consent order with the help of a lawyer – this is an agreement on financial and parenting matters created outside of court that is then formalised by the court.
2. Divorce can be conflict free
We’ve all watched TV and seen divorces with courtroom arguments and high drama. But the fact is, many divorces occur quietly outside of court without conflict or disagreement. In fact, unless you have filed a sole application or have a child together who is under the age of 18, you may not need to attend court at all.
The key to keeping your divorce conflict free is communication, compromise and the right advice. Seeking the help of an expert family lawyer early in the process will make it far easier to avoid conflict and reach a fair resolution.
3. You need to be separated for 12 months before divorce
Many people don’t know that to divorce in Australia you must be separated for at least 12 months and your marriage must have ‘irretrievably broken down’. Generally separation means that you’re living apart, but not always.
It’s possible to be separated under one roof if certain conditions are met such as a change in sleeping arrangements or a reduction in shared family outings.
4. Divorces in Australia are ‘no fault’
Divorces in Australia are under a ‘no fault’ jurisdiction. In other words neither partner will be blamed or punished for their actions during the marriage, regardless of whether they’re unfaithful or dishonest.
With all that said, it’s always best to seek legal representation early in the divorce process to make sure you know exactly what to expect and that your rights are protected. Despite what you may think, this can be a great way to avoid conflict and reach an easier agreement as lawyers are expert mediators.
If you’re preparing for divorce or need advice before you do, get in touch with the experts at Testart Family Law to arrange a free first consultation.