Do I have to go to Court?
A Divorce Application must be filed in the Federal Circuit Court (a court that deals in family law). You do not need to attend if:
1. There are no children under 18;
2. Your spouse does not object; and
3. You have evidence that you have sent the Application for Divorce to your Spouse. Personal service is not allowed. You can do this by registered post or a process server that will hand deliver the Application and give you a document that you then sent to the Court.
If you have been separated for 12 months you can file the Application any time thereafter.
If you have children under 18 you need to attend the Court on the date stamped on the top right hand of the document and explain to the Court what parenting arrangements are in place.
How much does a Divorce cost?
If you do it yourself the filing fee is $845.00 unless you are a concession card holder. If you ask a solicitor to do it, the costs are higher as they have to prepare the documents for you. If your spouse sends you an Application and you do not object then all you have to do is sign and return the Acknowledgement at the back to your spouse. You do not have to attend Court. Only the person applying for it has to attend Court and only if there is a child under 18.
How long does it take to divide property after separating?
You can start the property settlement process as soon as you like after you have separated. Sometimes it is wise to deal with the emotional issues before trying to deal with property. Sometimes emotions are too high at that time and people can make rash decisions that they regret later. You do not need to be divorced to start the process.
The first step is to make a list of all of the property that you own (including cards, boats, shares etc) and all of the debts (mortgage, credit cards, loans etc). You will also need a recent superannuation Statement for all of your accounts as this is a type of property.
If you have come to an agreement between you, it is always a good idea to get legal advice to make sure the agreement is fair to you. This process can take a matter of weeks if all is agreed upon. It all depends on what type of property you own and how it is to be divided. The process can take longer if one of you wants to keep the family home, especially if there is a mortgage.
However, should there be a disagreement then the process can be lengthy and may take many months. Should you need to involve the Court, this can then stretch into at least a year.
If you need Family Law Advice, call Ruth Single on 1800 087 934 for an initial confidential chat.