APPLYING FOR A DIVORCE UNDER THE FAMILY LAW ACT.
If you have been served with an Application for Divorce, you should first read through it carefully to make sure that all of the details are correct and then obtain legal advice.
If you wish to correct any errors in the Divorce Application, you may choose to file a Response to Divorce document with the Court. The errors might, for example, be that dates of birth are incorrect or the details regarding the children are no longer correct. You do not need to attend the hearing if you are happy for the Divorce to be granted.
However if you wish to oppose the Divorce Application you must file a Response to Divorce Document and also attend the hearing.
An appearance at the Court hearing will be required if you or your partner have children under 18 years of age (unless you are making a joint application).
You will also need to attend the hearing if you are unable to properly serve the Divorce Application on your former spouse within the required time;
One of the most important aspects of making an Application for Divorce is ensuring that you serve the Application on your former spouse. This is obviously impossible if you do not know their whereabouts.
If you are unable to locate your former spouse, it is still possible to obtain a Divorce however there are some additional steps required. You will need to make reasonable efforts to locate your former spouse and, if they cannot be found, make application to the Court to seek permission effect service on the other party in an alternative manner.
You should generally anticipate your Divorce to take approximately 8-12 weeks before it becomes final.
You can apply for a divorce 12 months after you separate.
There can however sometimes be an argument about whether separation has in fact taken place, particularly if the parties are still living together under the same roof. Separation can be broadly defined as the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. This does not need to be communicated to the other party however there does need to be clear evidence that the marriage has broken down.
When determining whether or not parties have separated, the Court will look at the nature of the relationship as a whole and take a number of matters into account. It is therefore important that you get the proper advice as early as possible about your particular circumstances. Mackinnon Jacobs Lawyers can advise regarding the obtaining of necessary evidence to prove that you have separated and how this evidence must be presented to the Court when applying for a Divorce.