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Family Law Separation & Divorce
It's important to note that divorce primarily deals with the legal aspects of ending a marriage, including matters like property settlement, child custody, and spousal maintenance.

Separation <> Divorce

In Australian law, separation and divorce refer to distinct legal processes that occur when a married couple decides to end their marriage. Here’s an explanation of separation and divorce in Australian law:

  1. Separation: Separation occurs when a married couple stops living together as a couple. It involves the breakdown of the marital relationship, whether it is due to irreconcilable differences, infidelity, or other reasons. In Australia, there is no formal process or legal documentation required to establish separation. The key element is the intention of one or both spouses to end the marital relationship, which is typically demonstrated by living separately and apart.

When a couple separates, they may need to address various issues, including:

  • Property division: Determining how to divide assets, debts, and financial resources acquired during the marriage.
  • Parenting arrangements: Deciding on the care and custody of any children from the marriage, including where they will live and how parental responsibilities will be shared.
  • Spousal maintenance: Considering whether one spouse may be entitled to financial support from the other spouse following the separation.

It is important to note that separation is a prerequisite for divorce, as the law requires a period of separation before a divorce application can be made.

  1. Divorce: Divorce is the legal process that formally ends a marriage. In Australia, divorce is governed by the Family Law Act 1975. To obtain a divorce, certain requirements must be met:
  • One or both spouses must have been separated and living separately and apart for a continuous period of at least 12 months.
  • There must be no reasonable likelihood of reconciliation.
  • At least one spouse must regard Australia as their home and intend to live in Australia permanently or be an Australian citizen or have lived in Australia for at least 12 months immediately before filing the divorce application.

The divorce process involves filing an application for divorce with the Family Court or the Federal Circuit Court. The application can be made jointly by both spouses or by one spouse alone. The court will then review the application and, if satisfied with the requirements, grant a divorce order.

It is important to note that divorce specifically deals with the legal termination of the marriage. It does not automatically address other issues such as property division or parenting arrangements. Separate legal processes or agreements may be required to address these matters.

After obtaining a divorce, both spouses are legally free to remarry if they choose to do so. The divorce order becomes final one month and one day after it is granted by the court.

It is advisable to seek legal advice from a family law professional when going through separation and divorce to understand your rights, obligations, and options for resolving associated issues.

What does it mean to get a divorce in nsw

What does it mean to get a divorce?

In New South Wales (NSW), getting a divorce refers to the legal process of formally ending a marriage. It is a legal dissolution of the marriage contract, which allows both parties to legally separate and go their separate ways. Here are some key points regarding divorce in NSW:

  1. Eligibility: To apply for a divorce in NSW, either you or your spouse must consider Australia as your home and intend to live in Australia indefinitely or be an Australian citizen by birth, descent, or grant of Australian citizenship. Additionally, you must have been separated for at least 12 months before applying for a divorce.

  2. Separation: The 12-month separation period is essential to demonstrate to the court that the marriage has irretrievably broken down. It does not necessarily mean living in separate houses but rather living separate lives. However, the court may require evidence of separation, such as separate addresses or arrangements.

  3. Application: To initiate the divorce process, you need to complete an Application for Divorce form, which is available from the Family Court of Australia or the Federal Circuit Court of Australia. You can submit the application individually or jointly with your spouse if you both agree on the divorce.

  4. Filing and Fee: After completing the application, you need to file it with the court and pay the relevant fee. The fee amount may vary, so it’s advisable to check the court’s website or contact them directly to confirm the current fee.

  5. Serving the Application: If you file the application individually, you must arrange for a copy to be served to your spouse. This is typically done through a process server or by post, and proof of service needs to be provided to the court.

  6. Divorce Hearing: If the court is satisfied with the application and all necessary requirements are met, a divorce hearing will be scheduled. In some cases, the hearing may be conducted without both parties attending. If there are no complications, the court will grant a divorce order.

  7. Finalizing the Divorce: Once the court grants the divorce, it does not take effect until one month and one day after the hearing. During this period, either party can appeal the decision. After the divorce becomes final, you will receive a Divorce Certificate, which proves the dissolution of the marriage.

It’s important to note that divorce primarily deals with the legal aspects of ending a marriage, including matters like property settlement, child custody, and spousal maintenance. If there are other issues to be resolved, such as financial settlements or parenting arrangements, separate legal proceedings may be required. It is advisable to consult with a family lawyer or seek professional advice to navigate the divorce process smoothly.


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