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The Legal Side of Divorce – Your Questions Answered

Deciding to end your marriage can be one of the most stressful decisions you’ll ever make, and one of the most significant life changes you’ll experience. 

During this very emotional time, you’ll also be expected to navigate the legal side of divorce, including paperwork – which can be tricky, even at the best of times. 

Here, we’ll answer some common questions about divorce legalities to lend you a helping hand. 

What Requirements Are Needed for Divorce?

The only requirement for a divorce is the ‘irretrievable breakdown’ of the marriage. This is proved by the husband and wife having been separated for 12 months with no likelihood of getting back together.

Does My Partner Have to Agree to the Divorce?

Your partner does not have to agree to the separation, however they need to know that you think the marriage is over. 

Does it Matter Whose Fault it is?

The court does not consider whose fault it was that the marriage broke down.

How Long After Getting Married Can I Apply for Divorce?

If you have been married for less than two years, you and your spouse must go to a counselling session with a family counsellor and file a certificate confirming this with the court.

Where there are special circumstances you may not be required to attend counselling. For example, if there is family violence or if you cannot locate your husband or wife. 

If you participate in counselling, but your spouse refuses, then you can still get a divorce. If neither of you attend counselling, then you will need to seek permission from the court to apply for a divorce. 

Can We Live Separately ‘Under the One Roof’?

It is possible to get a divorce if you live in the same house after separation but lead separate lives. There are a number of criteria you will need to meet to establish that you lead separate lives. 

When Can I Remarry?

You cannot remarry until your divorce order becomes final.

Also, be careful not to set your wedding date too close to the expected date of your divorce order becoming final. If there is a delay, you will not be able to go ahead with your wedding until the problem is sorted out and the divorce is granted. 

Who Can Help Me Navigate the Legal Side of Divorce?

Need more information? If you are currently considering divorce, we recommend contacting a professional divorce lawyer for advice. They can help you navigate the Victorian legal system, answering questions such as:  

  • When can I apply for divorce?
  • Can I have my marriage annulled?
  • What important decisions can I make before the divorce? 

To talk to a qualified and professional lawyer, book an appointment with Robert Wood and Associates. We can provide you with all the information you need about the legal side of divorce. Call our office on (03) 9762 3877 or simply contact us online.

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