What Is Divorce?

legal services in perth

Divorce is the dissolution of a marriage after the marriage has broken down.

In Australia there is a no fault divorce. The only requirement for a divorce is that the marriage has irretrievably broken down AND the parties have been separated for at least 12 months prior to the divorce application being lodged. Parties can be separated for 12 months under the same roof provided the parties can prove that the marriage has broken down.

DIVORCE IN PERTH: A STEP BY STEP HOW TO GUIDE

Basic step by step guide
STEP 1Apply

Complete an Application for Divorce. You (or your lawyer if you have one) can write or type your details into the Application for Divorce.

STEP 2Sign
  • You must swear or affirm the Application for Divorce (Part G – Affidavit of applicant/s) before a lawyer, Justice of the Peace or Notary Public.
STEP 3Photocopy
  • You must make two photocopies of the completed and signed Application for Divorce and any supporting documents.
STEP 4File
  • You need to file, by hand or post, at the registry:

– the original and two photocopies of the Application for Divorce and any supporting documents, and
– a copy of your marriage certificate.

  • You also need to pay a fee or request a reduction of the fee by filing an Application – Reduction of payment of court fees form.
STEP 5Receive a hearing date and documents
  • The Court will take your documents and send them back in the post with a file number and a time and date for a hearing.
  • Joint application – the Court will keep your original Application for Divorce and send you and your spouse a sealed copy of the application and an information brochure ‘Marriage, Families and Separation.
  • Sole application – the Court will keep your original Application for Divorce and send you two copies of the sealed application and information brochure ‘Marriage, Families and Separation’.
STEP 6Receive a hearing date and documents
  • If you applied for a divorce with your spouse (a joint application), you and your spouse each keep a sealed copy of the Application for Divorce and the information brochure.
  • If you applied for a divorce on your own (sole application), you must serve a sealed copy of the Application for Divorce and the information brochure on your spouse:

– at least 28 days before the hearing date if your spouse is in Australia

– at least 42 days before the hearing date if your spouse is overseas.

  • For more information on service, see the ‘Guide to serving an application for divorce’.
STEP 7Attend the hearing
  • If there is no child of the marriage currently under 18, you are not required to attend the hearing. This applies for both sole and joint applications where box 2(a) was ticked NO.
  • If you make a joint application and there is a child of the marriage currently under 18, neither you nor your spouse are required to attend the hearing where box 2(a) was ticked NO.
  • If you make a sole application and there is a child of the marriage currently under 18, you must attend the hearing.
STEP 8Outcome of hearing
  • If your divorce application is successful, the Court will grant a divorce order. The order becomes final one month and one day after it is made, unless it is shortened by order of the Court.
  • A copy of the divorce order will be made available to you, either by post or through the Commonwealth Courts Portal (if you are a registered user) after the order has become final.

FAQ ABOUT DIVORCE IN PERTH

WHO CAN APPLY?

You – if you are applying for a divorce by yourself (sole application)

You and your spouse – if you are applying together (joint application)
You may prepare your own divorce application or ask a lawyer to do it for you.

WHEN CAN I APPLY?
You can apply for a divorce in Australia if either you or your spouse:

  • regard Australia as your home and intend to live in Australia indefinitely, or
  • are an Australian citizen by birth, descent or by grant of Australian citizenship, or
  • ordinarily live in Australia and have done so for 12 months immediately before filing for divorce.

You also need to satisfy the Court that you and your spouse have lived separately and apart for at least 12 months, and there is no reasonable likelihood of resuming married life. It is possible to live together in the same home and still be separated.

WHAT ARE MY RESPONSIBILITIES?

You must make sure all your paperwork is organised before filing your divorce application. The accuracy of documents is your responsibility, not the responsibility of the Court.

If you need more space to answer any questions, please attach an extra page/s to the back of the Application for Divorce. If you use attachments, you need to put the question number at the top of the extra page/s.

FILING

You need to file:

  • the original and two photocopies of the Application for Divorce and any supporting documents, and
  • a copy of your marriage certificate.

You can file documents by hand or post to the registry.

FEES

You must pay a fee when you file for divorce. The fee can be reduced in some cases; for example, if you hold certain government concession cards or you are experiencing financial hardship.

PATRICK LEGAL- PERTH FAMILY LAWYER CAN HELP

If you want to know more about a divorce in Perth or want us to assist you with your divorce, call PATRICK LEGAL – PERTH FAMILY LAWYERS – 08 9276 70 31

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