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Separation and Divorce

Separation and divorce are life changing events that can have a dramatic effect on your emotional and financial wellbeing. When a couple separates, there are often immediate decisions that need to be made in relation to finances and children. There are also long term decisions that need to be made such as finalising ongoing parenting arrangements, working out who will pay for bills and debts, sorting out where each party will live, and finalizing a property settlement.

It is important to know your rights, obligations and entitlements if you are going through a separation or divorce. Even if you are only considering separating, it is helpful to know what the ramifications may be and to make plans to ensure the best possible outcome for yourself in the event of the breakdown of your relationship.

Doolan Callaghan Family Lawyers understand that the breakdown of a relationship can be a very emotional and stressful experience. Our highly experienced Family Lawyers have assisted thousands of clients at all stages of the separation process, from people who are thinking about separating, to people who are in the process of separating or who may have been separated or divorced for some time. Our Family Lawyers will help you to understand the process of separation and divorce and assess your situation and provide you with options so that you maintain control. We provide practical, effective solutions to the many and varied issues that arise and help our clients through this difficult time with straightforward advice tailored to your individual needs.

Many people are surprised to learn that there is no formal process to bring to an end a de facto relationship or a marriage. Parties are separated when one or both of them communicates their intention to the other that the relationship has ended.

However, there is a formal process to be followed if a party to a marriage wants to obtain a divorce. In Australia we have a ‘no fault’ basis for obtaining a divorce. This means that there is no need to establish that either party is at fault in order to be granted a divorce. The only ground for obtaining a divorce is that there is an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. To demonstrate an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage, the husband and wife must have been separated for 12 months. Additionally, if there are children under the age of 18 years, the Court will need to be satisfied that there are appropriate arrangements in place for their care, welfare and development.

In Australia, getting divorced is a separate legal process from resolving parenting arrangements for children, or from having a property settlement. You do not need to be divorced before finalising property or parenting matters.

Our Family Lawyers are able to assist you to make an Application for Divorce and can attend the divorce hearing on your behalf. In some circumstances, a Divorce Order can be obtained when a husband and wife have been living separately and apart under the same roof, provided there is independent evidence to prove that the marriage has irretrievably broken down. The divorce hearing usually takes place around 6 to 8 weeks after the Application for Divorce is filed in the Court. Once the hearing takes place and the Divorce Order is made, the Divorce Order becomes final one month and one day later. You can remarry after the Divorce Order becomes final.

Once you are divorced, there are time limits that apply to making an application to the Court for a property settlement or for spouse maintenance. In addition, getting divorced can have ramifications for your Will. Our Family Lawyers are able to give you advice and assistance about all of these matters to ensure that your rights are protected.

We look forward to meeting you and helping you in your family law matter

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