Is Unhappy Marriage A Ground For Divorce In Australia?
There are many reasons as to why couples, or just one spouse, might seek legal marriage advice or even consider getting a divorce. Taking that first step is never easy, and wanting to end a part of your life and turn over a new sheet can be scary but also liberating, and sometimes, necessary for personal happiness and wellbeing. You may find discussing the ups and downs of your marriage with lawyers and strangers uncomfortable, but having someone on your side with experience in the field of family law can help you better understand your situation and the best way to approach it.
But, before you decide to seek legal help, Peter Fisher’s family law lawyers will help you get a better understanding of the Australian Family Law and how the Family Court looks at divorce.
The Family Law Act 1975
The Family Law Act 1975, an Act of Australian Parlament, is made up of 15 parts and deals with all matters regarding divorce, property separation, parenting arrangements and financial support of children. One of the main innovations that came with this Act is the establishment of the no-fault principle, which no longer asks partners to show grounds for divorce. This means that the Court does not consider why the marriage broke down and the only ground for divorce is the irretrievable breakdown of the relationship and no reasonable likelihood that the parties will get back together.
No-Fault Divorce in Australia
One of the most common misunderstandings that divorcing partners have is that if one of them “proves” the fault of the other one, they will receive better treatment by the Court regarding property settlement or child support. This is, of course, false – as we previously mentioned, with The Family Law Act 1975 came the no-fault divorce principle – the actions of one party in contributing or causing a marriage break down are not considered by the court.
Applying for a Divorce
There are not a lot of divorce rules in Australia, and the process itself can be quite straight forward and can be performed without the help of lawyers. Applying for a divorce can be done if you or your partner:
- View Australia as your home and plan on living in Australia
- Are citizens of Australia by descent, birth or were granted Australian citizenship
- Live in Australia, or have been for 12 months before filing for divorce.
Also, to be able to officially apply for divorce, you must have been married for at least two years and have lived separately for at least 12 months before applying for a divorce. (This means that both of you lived separate social and financial lives, not necessarily lived in separate houses)
In cases where spouses have been married for less than two years, they need to prove to the Court that they tried reconciling the marriage, through assistance or counseling and that there are no chances of getting back together.
Speaking of divorce procedure in Australia, the first thing to do is to file an Application for a Divorce in the Federal Circuit Court of Australia and pay the filing fee. You can apply a sole or joint application for divorce. Your Application will be assigned to a Registrar of the Federal Circuit Court of Australia and given a date and time for a Hearing.
Seeking Legal Advice
In order to understand your rights and obligations, you can attain legal advice before applying for a divorce, or any other divorce-related application. Having a good divorce lawyer can help you understand how the law applies to your case. Contact us to have the best divorce lawyers Adelaide.