married couples of less than two years required to attend counselling before divorce
Couples whose marriage lasted for less than two years are required to attend counselling before they can apply for a divorce. The aim is for the parties to first exhaust all efforts towards reconciliation.
If the counselling fails, meaning the parties have not reconciled, a counselling certificate will be issued by a family counsellor and attached to the application for divorce. The certificate will state that the party has ‘considered reconciliation with the assistance of a specified person, being a family counsellor or other nominee.’
The applicable law provision is found in Family Law Act 1975 Sect 44 (1B)(A) which basically states that parties who have had less than 2 years of marriage cannot file a divorce application, unless with leave of court, if they have not undergone counselling which is evidenced by a certificate.
This certificate states:
(a) That the parties have considered reconciliation with the assistance of a specified person, who is:
- A family counsellor; or
- An individual or an organization nominated for the parties by a family consultant if the court is the Family Court, Federal Circuit Court, or the Family Court of a State; or
- An individual or an organization nominated for the parties by an appropriately qualified officer of the court if the court is not the Family Court, Federal Circuit Court or the Family Court of a State.
(b) Signed by that person or on behalf of the organization.
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.