Divorce can be a highly emotional journey. It’s filled with ups and downs, just like a rollercoaster at Luna Park. But knowing the road ahead can often provide comfort during a difficult period. That’s why we’re here, to guide you step-by-step through the process of divorce in Sydney, making it more understandable and hopefully less overwhelming.
- Separation: The Initial Stage
Firstly, separation doesn’t necessarily mean moving out. In Australia, it’s possible to be legally separated but still live under the same roof. You just need to demonstrate that you’re no longer in a relationship. Importantly, remember you need to be separated for at least a year before you can apply for a divorce.
- Consider Counselling
Going through a divorce can be tough. It’s emotionally challenging and can also impact your children and wider family. Therefore, seeking counselling could be beneficial. It can provide emotional support and help everyone involved to manage their feelings during this difficult time. Counselling might also aid in making rational decisions which are crucial for the next steps.
- Making Arrangements for Children
If you have children, decisions about who they will live with and how much time they’ll spend with each parent need to be made. Most parents can agree on these arrangements. If you can’t, mediation services are available to assist. Always remember, the law places the highest priority on the best interests of the child.
- Sorting Out Property and Finances
This step can be a complex beast, with emotions running high. It involves splitting assets, deciding who pays the bills, or dividing a business if you have one. It’s a good idea to get legal advice during this step. A lawyer can help you understand your rights, responsibilities, and the best way to navigate the legal mire.
- Apply for a Divorce
Once you’ve been separated for 12 months, you can formally apply for a divorce, and you might want to engage a reliable divorce attorney in Sydney. This is done through the Federal Circuit Court. The application can be made by one party or jointly. Remember, divorce only ends the marriage, not financial or parenting responsibilities.
- Attend the Hearing
If you’ve submitted the application jointly, or there are no children under 18, you don’t need to attend court. If you filed alone, and there are kids involved, then attendance is mandatory. The court will check all the necessary requirements are met and if everything is in order, grant the divorce.
- Finalise the Divorce
Once granted, the divorce order becomes final one month and one day after the hearing. After this, you’re officially divorced. You’re free to remarry if you wish, but remember, this doesn’t end your financial responsibilities towards your ex-spouse or children.
Even with a step-by-step guide, the process can seem daunting. If you’re unsure about any stage of the process, seek legal advice. Getting the right guidance can make the journey less stressful and help you start your new chapter on the right foot.