Spouses will remain bound to their marriage unless they get a divorce.A divorce is the only way to terminate the marriage ties between spouses thereby making them eligible for remarriage.
When parties only separate, the legal ties as a married couple are still intact, that is why they cannot remarry, and they must still comply with some of their obligations under the marriage.
Once a divorce order is issued the bonds of marriage is broken, and each party is then eligible for remarriage after one month and one day from the issuance of the divorce order.
Effective February 13, 2010, a certificate of divorce will no longer be issued. Rather, it is the divorce order issued by the court that will serve as the proof of divorce. The divorce order will certify that the divorce is already final. Persons who got divorced before February 13, 2010, can ask for the issuance of divorce orders to replace their certificate of divorce.
The establishment of the ‘no-fault’ divorce has made it easier for parties to obtain a divorce as it is no longer necessary for the parties to blame each other for the breakdown of the marriage. This has paved the way for a smoother and more peaceful divorce process. All that the applicant or the parties need to prove is that the marriage has broken down irretrievably.
There are other important matters to consider by divorcing couples. First of all, a divorce order will not take effect unless proper arrangements have been made for the couple’s children who are below 18 years of age. Section 55A (1)(b)(i) of the Family Law Act 1975 is very clear about this requirement.
A divorce application will not decide parenting issues or make parenting arrangements. So, it is incumbent upon the parents to enter into a parenting plan, apply for consent orders or if they do not agree on parenting matters, apply for a parenting order from the court that will settle the parenting arrangements of children below 18 years.
A spouse who applies for divorce must include proof that the care, welfare and development of children below 18 years of age have already been provided for either through an agreement between the parties or court order. Otherwise, a divorce order will not take effect.
Another important matter when considering divorce is that the parties must have separated 12 months before the application for divorce is filed. Usually, the standard of proof is an affidavit by friends or relatives that attests to the fact of the couple’s 12 months separation before the filing of the divorce application.