When you are preparing for divorce, decisions can feel difficult to make and it can seem very overwhelming and daunting, particularly when so many changes are taking place. Still, there are some important things to consider.
12 months separation is required before you can divorce
The only criteria necessary for the court to grant a divorce is that there has been an irretrievable breakdown of marriage, evidenced by a 12-month separation preceding the filing of an Application for Divorce. The reasons for the breakdown of the marriage (for example, one partner having an affair) are irrelevant as Australian law has a concept of no-fault divorce.
A reduced filing fee for divorce may apply
When making an application for divorce a filing fee is payable to the court at the time of filing. If you hold certain government concession cards or you can demonstrate financial hardship, you may be eligible for a reduced fee which will make the process less stressful from a financial perspective. To apply for the reduced fee, you will need to provide a copy of your concession card.
Choose the right family lawyer
Taking the time to research and find the appropriate lawyer to be at your side through a divorce can lessen the emotional impact – and the amount of money and time spent on the process. This is particularly the case if you need to also address other issues such as arrangements of children or a property settlement.
An expert family lawyer is aware of the intricacies of family law and is more likely to have experience in matters similar to yours. You can always confirm this with your lawyer before you sign a retainer.
In terms of costs, one way to save without compromising on expertise is to opt for a non-profit law firm like New Way Lawyers. A non-profit model means you are the centre of the service model, rather than making a profit for the firm’s partners, which generally means it is more accessible from a cost perspective.
Remember, video calls mean that you are not limited to local firms. Make sure you feel you have a good rapport with the lawyer you choose because family law matters can continue for some time. It’s important you feel like they are able to present information to you in a way you understand.
If there are children of the marriage who are under the age of 18 years, the court will only make an order for divorce once satisfied that proper arrangements have been made for the care and welfare of the children. You should discuss this with your family lawyer prior to applying for a divorce. If you’re interested in the type of approaches you can take to child arrangements, this is a helpful article.
Whilst friends and family can offer crucial emotional support, it is often valuable to seek support from a psychologist or counsellor. This will help you work through your emotions and respond in a healthy way to them so that you can be a calmer head space to help with any negotiations and decisions that come along with a divorce.