When you and your spouse first separate, you don’t need to inform anyone formally and you don’t need to sign any documents either. When it gets to the divorce stage, more has to be done, as this is the formal end to a marriage.
Once completed it needs to be signed by a lawyer or a Justice of the Peace or someone else who has been authorised. The application form, including 2 copies, your marriage certificate and the fee have to be filed with the Federal Circuit Court of Australia, and the Family Law Registry.
A hearing date is allocated which is around 2 months from the filing of the divorce application. At the hearing, the court will make the decision whether the requirements for a divorce have been met. Once the court has granted the divorce it will come into effect one month after. The whole process takes around 4 months and once completed you will be free to marry again.
The divorce procedure is comparatively easy but what is difficult is dividing any assets and negotiating child custody and visitation rights. How smoothly this part of the separation goes depends on how your marriage has come to an end. If there is animosity and you are unable to discuss your children and your assets you will need a lawyer to advise you and mediate on your behalf.
When you obtain legal advice the first suggestion by your lawyer will be to use mediation to solve children and property issues. This is far cheaper and can involve many parties including parents, grandparents and the children. It makes the court’s job much quicker and simpler when the parenting order is finalised.
If you, as a father, fail to get legal advice and help with regards to your children and your property the settlement might not work in your favour. If you have been unable to come to an agreement regarding your children and property through personal arrangements or mediation then the Court will decide what’s best for your children and it will enforce parenting orders based on what they discover about the family.
Family Courts make decisions based on the children’s best interests. The Courts take certain things into consideration, such as whether it’s good for the children to see both parents or if they have to be shielded from any possible harm or neglect. Courts will listen to the children’s view, too and the relationship they may have with siblings and grandparents.