Divorce can be a complicated process. It is especially so since many people have unrealistic expectations. Below is a guide on the divorce process in Australia.
Divorcing couples have to meet the minimum legal requirements for divorce. Typically, their marriage must be recognised in Australia, and they must be separated for at least one year. People that are married for less than two years will need a counselling certificate.
In Australia, divorcing couples must attempt out-of-court settlements before going to court. The two parties will meet with their lawyers to negotiate how they will divide marital property and raise their kids. If you have a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, the lawyers will use this document to finalise your marriage. You may opt to nullify the document if it does not reflect your current financial situation. You can also ask a court to annul the contract if your spouse coerced you into signing or if you did not receive independent legal advice before signing the agreement.
During property division negotiations, your lawyers will establish joint property that you acquired in the course of the marriage. Ideally, the property should be shared on a 50/50 basis. However, there are cases when this principle is not applicable, such as if your spouse is disabled or unemployed. Your lawyers will also evaluate the need for spousal maintenance. It can be paid in a lump sum or small instalments. You do not qualify for alimony once you get into another relationship.
Child custody is the most challenging aspect of the divorce process. It is especially so since, typically, both parents want to live with the kids. The primary caretaker is the parent who lives with the kids. The other parent takes an active role in decision-making and providing for the kids. He or she is entitled to visit the kids. When determining the primary caretaker, your lawyers will evaluate the following:
- What is the emotional bond between the parent and the kids?
- Do you take an active role in raising the kids? For instance, can you prepare breakfast or help the kids with school assignments?
- What is your schedule? It may be challenging to raise the kids if you have a busy schedule.
- What are the child's needs? For instance, infants may require breastfeeding.
Your parenting agreement can be adjusted to suit changing circumstances. For instance, you can change the children's primary caretaker if your spouse cannot provide for the kids.
An experienced divorce lawyer will help you through the process. When choosing a lawyer, examine his or her experience, pricing, terms and conditions.
To learn more, contact a family law solicitor.