When it is no longer possible for couples to continue living together, they may obtain a divorce decree. The effect of a divorce decree does not only limit to the relation of both couples but renders the marriage contract as null and void. Thus, divorce couples may be released from their marital obligations towards each other.
Under the Australian Law, couples who want to obtain divorce do not have to state the reasons that brought them into a major quarrel. For a divorce decree to be granted, the court only needs proof of ‘irretrievable breakdown of the marriage’. The only way to prove this is that couples should have been separated for at least 12 months. This is also the reason why couples can only file for divorce after a year. Thus, when filing for a divorce, couples should take note of the 12-month requirement period.
The court does not give much weight to the frequency of petty quarrels couples have had during their married life. The irretrievability of the marriage may be judged based on the change in the overall character of the relationship. To make such determination, the court will assess whether or not the couples still live together, engage in sexual intercourse, attend social functions in public as couples, jointly care for their children, and support each other.
Separating parties need not file a divorce jointly. However, if one seeks for a divorce decree, he or she cannot proceed with the plan without informing the other spouse. Communication of a desire to end a marriage can be done either through words or by actions that demonstrate a declination of marriage.
There can be some factors that may affect a speedy disposition of an application for divorce. For instance, when family violence is an impending issue between the couples, the court will give paramount consideration to the members of the family who may be affected by the violence. Especially if there are children, the court will decide with the presumption that it is in the best interest of the child.
The conclusion of a marriage is never an easy thing.If you and your partner are planning to obtain a divorce decree, do not hesitate to contact one of our lawyers for timely advice.