ending a marriage
what exactly does separation for 12 months mean?
Ending a marriage simple, however, certain criteria have to be met before a couple can finally divorce. The first of these is the making of an application to the Federal Circuit Court. To do this you must follow a specific procedure to ensure that your divorce will be approved.
The first document you will need to show is your current marriage certificate. Next, you have to prove that your marriage is irretrievable. This can be shown by supplying evidence that you have lived apart for a minimum of 12 months. There is an Australian residency requirement too, which states that you are either an Australian citizen or permanent resident and you have been residing in Australia for no less than 12 months from the date that you apply for your divorce.
One of the more difficult questions is what “separation for 12 months” means. Sometimes, marriage partners aren’t sure if they want to divorce or not, so they might get back together after a period of separation, but this may not last long.
Basically, to be certain that you will gain a successful divorce a realistic separation period of 12 months will make that divorce far easier and will more likely convince the court.
Sometimes it’s not economical to move out of the family home, even though you may have nothing to do with your estranged partner. The court may still allow you to get a divorce. The difficulty here is proving to the court that you are truly separated and do not share your lives in any personal way.
A good way to provide proof is to get a friend to sign an affidavit which is a statement that is accepted by the court. It is presented under oath and will include details about your separate lives.
The Court will look for supporting evidence, such as not sharing the same room and not preparing food or eating together.
The divorce process follows a set procedure as outlined below:
- Fill in the divorce application form.
- The form has to be signed by a JP or solicitor.
- Send the form to the Family Law Court with a copy of your marriage certificate and two copies and the original of any affidavits.
- There is a fee associated with a divorce application which you should check and you must include it with your application
- Next, you will be sent your hearing date and you will be required to send the details to your spouse to sign an Acknowledgement of Service form at least 28 days prior to the date of the hearing or 42 days if he or she is overseas.
Disclaimer : This article provides basic information only and is not a substitute for a professional or legal advice. It is prudent to obtain legal advice from a family lawyer.