Marriages Ending in Divorce


Marriages Ending in Divorce


Unfortunately with the increase of marriages ending in divorce each year it is important for our clients to be aware of the key areas of Family Law and what they should consider when separating.
The fortunate few are able to resolve their Family Law matters without ever entering the Family Court system. However for those who are unable to resolve their matters, we believe the following are important points to note when making an application with the Family Courts:


• You must have been separated for more than 12 months.
• If you have been separated under one roof, you must be able to provide evidence of the separation, including a witness that will provide an Affidavit confirming that you and your spouse were separated under one roof.
• If you have been married less than 2 years and want to apply for a divorce, you must either attend counselling with a family counsellor to discuss the possibility of reconciliation with your spouse or seek permission from the Court to apply for a divorce. The 2 years is calculated from the date of the marriage to the date you make your application with the Court for a divorce.

Parenting Matters

• Changes have been made to the Family Law Act 1975 to encourage parents to resolve parenting issues between themselves without going to Court.
• Before you can make an application to the Court parties must attend Family Dispute Resolution where parties must make genuine effort to resolve the matter. If agreement cannot be reached, then you will be issued with a section 60I Certificate. It is only once you receive the section 60I Certificate that you can make an application to the Court for parenting orders. This requirement also applies if you wish to vary pre-existing parenting orders. There are however certain circumstances where the Court may grant an exemption from the requirement to file a section 60I Certificate.
• Parties, at all times, must bear in mind what is in the best interests of the children when seeking parenting orders. The children’s best interest is the paramount consideration when the Courts make a parenting order.

Property Matters

• An application for property settlement can be made at any time. However if parties have divorced, you have 12 months from the day your divorce came into effect to make your application for property settlement.
• Generally the division of property is based on the following:
– The assets and liabilities each party has either jointly or solely
– Direct financial contributions made by each party to the marriage
– Indirect financial contributions made by each party to the marriage, this can include gifts and inheritances
– Non-financial contributions made by each party to the marriage, such as the role of the homemaker; and
– Future requirements of each party and the Court will consider the parties age, health, ability to earn income and care of the children.

If you are unsure of your rights, feel free to contact Charly Tannous or Gayanie Dharmaratne at Sage Solicitors to book in your first consultation. If you are thinking of separating your partner or you believe that your partner may be considering leaving you, then it is important for you to get in early and obtain preliminary advice, as this may affect how you are treated by your partner when you finally separate.