Divorce Lawyers Perth
Whether you are a parent, child or another family member, separation and divorce can be a tough time for all involved.
It causes people to experience a wide range of associated emotions and can affect more than just your family life. Therefore, it is important to have all the information you need to navigate separation and divorce.
Our family lawyers aim to caringly guide our clients through divorce and property settlement. We help them make important decisions about their children. We understand the challenges facing you and will make this as stress-free as possible.
Separation can play a part in:
What is separation?
Separation occurs when you and your partner stop living together as a couple.
You and your partner do not need to agree to a separation for it to happen. To separate, you simply need to make the decision. You should then inform your partner of that decision.
If you intend to divorce. You need to have a separation period of 12 months before the divorce process can begin.
Why is the date of separation important?
The date of separation is key to most cases, and defining it can be hard.
It is a good idea to confirm your separation in writing. This doesn’t need to be a formal document. You can use a text message, email or even a social media message. This can help protect you if say your former partner disputes the date of separation.
Other instances can make the date of separation unclear. For example, illness, work and other commitments can cause partners in a couple to live separately. However, living separately is not the same as separation. If you are living separately and you are separating, it is important to inform the other party of your intention to separate.
Separation can also occur under the same roof. The two parties must, however, live independently. This can be difficult to show.
If you still treat each other as husband and wife, or wife and wife, or de facto partners, you are not legally separated.
These cases are handled case by case as the facts will vary. In this situation an experienced family lawyer is key.
What about divorce?
As we have mentioned, divorce can occur 12 months after the date of separation.
In Australia, we exercise a no-fault divorce. This is explained in the Family Law Act. This means that The Court does not consider why the marriage ended.
Divorce simply recognises the end of a marriage. Getting a divorce is not the only thing to address when a marriage breaks down.
You may have other matters to deal with such as property settlement, child support, spousal maintenance or parenting arrangements. It is also important to have a lawyer revisit will throughout separation or divorce. You may need to obtain necessary advice on this.
If you want to apply for maintenance for yourself or a division of property, you must file a separate application within 12 months of the divorce being finalised. Otherwise, you will need the Court’s permission to apply.
Things to note about divorce
Sometimes people want to remarry right after a divorce. You should not make firm plans until your divorce is final. In most cases, the divorce order takes effect one month and one day after the divorce is granted. You should not assume the divorce will be granted at the first court hearing
Married couples seeking to divorce when they have been married for less than two years are treated differently. You will need to file a counselling certificate. To obtain this you will need to attend counselling. If you cannot attend counselling, you will need to fill out an affidavit.
The 12-month separation period still applies. The two years is calculated from marriage to application.
Do you have children aged under 18? You will need to plan for your children. The court will only grant the divorce if it is satisfied that the proper plans have been made.
De facto couples
Separation includes de facto relationships. De facto includes same-sex relationships. Just like for marriage proof of separation is key. For example, the length of separation impacts the settling of financial issues.
What if there is a brief period of reconciliation?
Separating from your partner is not always clean cut. You may get back together briefly before separating again.
If this reconciliation period is less than three months, you do not have to start the separation process again. The period stands still during this time.
Once again, the date of separation and reconciliation play a significant role in divorce matters. Keep a careful note in case there is a dispute.
Let’s work it out together
We guide our clients through their family law issues and help them make very important decisions with compassion and care. We can advise you as to whether you are currently separated, and guide you through the separation process. We can also help you prepare an application or response, and represent you in the Family Court of Western Australia.
We provide our clients with a complimentary background pre-read. This saves your legal fees and time. You can tell us about your case before you come in for your first appointment.
This might include:
- The names and address/es of you and your former partner;
- a brief history of the relationship;
- when you and your former partner started living together;
- the date you got married;
- when you and your former partner separated;
- when your former partner might think you separated;
- whether there were any previous periods of separation;
- the name/s and age/s of any children;
- any parenting arrangements that are in place;
- assets, liabilities and super you or your former partner have;
- what contributions you and your former partner made during the relationship;
- the respective future needs for you and your former partner;
- details of any Court orders in place; and/or
- any questions you may have.
Write to us below to secure your complimentary background pre-read and first appointment at a reduced rate.
Please note this is not family law advice. It is important to seek specific family law advice.