Australian Divorce Law

How Does Australian Divorce Law Work?

In Australia, the Federal Circuit Court is responsible for governing divorce law, including possessing a jurisdiction of power that can be used to dissolve marriages under the guidance of divorce lawyers with a sitting mediator or judge. This power falls under Part IV (6) of the 1975 Family Law Act – an act that was put into place to manage the way in which divorces are able to be applied for and resolved.

Unlike other parts of the world, a divorce in Australia doesn’t automatically constitute a decision regarding any access to children (including custody), as well as financial support and any fair distribution of assets. In these cases, further court hearings may be required and it’s advisable to seek the advice of a qualified family lawyer for these particular events.

How long can it take to get a divorce?

In the majority of instances, and when considering the average time for a divorce hearing to reach completion, most parties can expect to undergo the legal process for a period of 4 months. In some cases (often when events are less complicated), this duration can be reduced – but there are also times when a particular hearing may take longer.

The finality of the separation will only be deemed legal when the court issues a Divorce Order – a form of documentation that represents the legally binding separation between two consenting adults. There are complications that can arise, such as one party being unwilling to pursue a divorce, and in these cases the Court will typically make a ruling relating to the continuation or annulment of the marriage.

How can one apply for a divorce?

In order to apply for a divorce, both parties involved must print and sign the necessary forms and documentation – unless only one agrees to the separation, in which case a family / divorce solicitor may be recommended to pursue the application under certain parts of the Family Law Act of 1975. Forms can also be filled in online and in a digital environment, by using the post, or in person at a local court office.

There are filing fees associated with the application and once received, the court will make two copies of all paperwork (one for each party member), whilst retaining the original documents for their own use. The process can be fairly long and drawn out and this is one of the reasons why many Australians opt to hire family & divorce lawyers in Perth to help them to speed the process along; whilst minimising their stress and effort in the process.