Divorce & Separation
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Divorce Lawyers Sydney
Are you looking for experienced Divorce Lawyers Sydney? Having access to expert advice on divorce law can help reduce the stress and expense often associated with the process. Our Divorce Lawyers have significant expertise in guiding clients undergoing a divorce. We help to simplify and streamline the divorce process and advise on:
- Divorce Applications
- Parenting Orders and Children’s Issues (custody & access)
- Child Support, Financial Agreements (“pre nups”)
- Property Settlements (asset division)
- Estate Planning and more.
Our Sydney divorce lawyers work towards securing all entitlements for our clients and expediting the process to reduce the costs and pressures involved.
What are the requirements for obtaining a divorce?
For a divorce to be granted, the Federal Circuit Court must be satisfied that:
- there is a valid marriage
- the marriage has broken down irretrievably
- that parties to the marriage have been separated for at least 12 months (365 days)
- where children are involved, the courts must also be satisfied that proper arrangements have been put in place for the ongoing care of the children
- for marriages of less than two years duration, it is also a requirement that counselling has been undertaken
Contact one of our Divorce Lawyers and benefit from our experience in all aspects of divorce and family law.
What is the process of obtaining a divorce?
In order to finalise your divorce, we will assist you in undertaking the following steps:
- Prepare your application for divorce, which must be signed by you.
- File your application for divorce with a copy of your marriage certificate. If you are unable to find your marriage certificate, we can request one for you from the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages. If it’s in another language – we arrange a certified translation.
- Upon receipt of your documents, the Court will set a time and date for the hearing. The hearing is usually about two to three months after the date of filing of the divorce application.
- We will need to serve your application for divorce on your former partner no less than 28 days prior to your hearing. (If they are overseas more time is required.)
- The hearing should only take approximately 15 minutes. If you have a child under the age of 18, you are required to attend the hearing – otherwise, there is no obligation to attend. We will represent you either way and you are not required to speak or give any evidence.
- After the hearing, the court will give us a divorce certificate; issued one month and one day after the hearing.
Our divorce lawyers Sydney can assist you with this process from start to finish.
Frequently Asked Questions
When can I apply for a divorce?
My partner and I have separated but we still live in the same house, can I still apply for divorce?
Can I oppose a divorce application?
You can only oppose a divorce application if you have not been separated for 12 months or more or if you allege that the Court does not have jurisdiction (for example, if you have already been divorced in another country) or if you allege there was never a valid marriage.
If you still want a divorce granted but disagree with the facts alleged by your former spouse in their application, you can file a “Response” which will set out which facts you disagree with; sometimes dates can be critical for other purposes for instance.
I am getting divorced. Will decisions concerning my children and property be made at the same time?
Do I have to be divorced to finalise my parenting arrangements or property settlement?
No. The two processes are completely separate. Arrangements about property and parenting issues can be made at any stage following separation. However, applications for property settlement must be filed within 12 months of your divorce, if you decide to divorce before starting any application to divide assets.
Does it matter if we were married overseas?
What effect does my divorce have on my will?
When you get divorced, some parts of your will can become void. For example, any gifts you have made to your former spouse or any appointment of them as an executor, trustee or as guardian of children will no longer be valid. If you are unsure about how your divorce will affect your will, our estate team can assist you in guiding you through this process and updating your will where necessary.
How long does the divorce process take?
The process takes at least 5 months and depends on where your case falls in the ‘queue of cases’. Your Application may take longer to process if one party is residing overseas, or if there are not adequate parenting arrangements in place for the children or the circumstances of your separation are ‘unclear’.
How long do we have to be separated?
How much does it cost?
Our standard fee starts at $1,000 plus the Court’s government lodgement fee (currently $910). If for example, you have a Marriage Certificate in another language, can’t find the other spouse to inform them of the hearing date of a divorce or have been separated under one roof, our fees might be higher. We will tell you at our first conference with you what our fees will likely be.
After Divorce, will I have to pay my ex maintenance?
In many cases, one spouse in a marriage is the ‘primary income earner’ and the other spouse either does not work or works part-time only. The Court, based on the Family Law Act, has an obligation to ensure that once spouses separate and two households are set up, a non-working or part-time working spouse is not suddenly without funds to afford basic necessities such as food.
This is because the parties of a marriage (that is, you and your spouse/partner), as a couple, made the decision (whether consensual or otherwise) that one spouse would not work and that the other would be the primary income earner for the household.
For this reason, the marriage as a whole has to pay for each spouse’s living costs after separation often until there can be a final hearing to divide the assets. This payment is called spouse maintenance. It is often a weekly sum of money paid (sometimes a lumpsum) to a spouse for living costs and must be paid by the primary income earning spouse.
To find out more about Spousal Maintenance visit this page.
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