Divorce Information – Do-It-Yourself-Divorce-Kits
It is possible to apply for a divorce without a lawyer. The Family Law Courts website at www.familylawcourts.gov.au provides a Do-It-Yourself-Kit, which provides divorce information and sets out the steps required for applying for and obtaining a divorce and the Application for Divorce Form. The Application for Divorce document is quite an extensive one and you may wish to get your lawyer to check it over for you before you file it with the Family Law Registry and serve it on your spouse (in the case of sole applications). However, this is not a requirement.
Many clients ask what will happen to the Application for Divorce if the spouse does not agree to a divorce. As long as some very basic requirements are met, it is not necessary for a spouse to agree to a divorce. The court must be satisfied:
1. that the parties have been separated for at least 12 months; and
2. that the marriage has broken down irretrievably; and
3. if there are children of the marriage under the age of 18 years that proper arrangements have been made for their welfare.
It is important for clients to know that it is possible to live in the same home, but still be regarded as living separately and apart. A family lawyer would be in a position to readily advise you about what the Court understands to mean by “living separately and apart.”
Filing for a divorce does not need to be an adversarial proceeding against the spouse. An Application for Divorce can be made jointly which, if possible, can make the process much less stressful. It also means that service of the Application for Divorce becomes unnecessary because both parties in a joint application will simply keep a sealed copy of the application for divorce with them when it is returned to them by the Court.
There is a substantial amount of information available to make sure that the Application for Divorce is made properly and efficiently. A Do-It-Yourself-Kit can be obtained from:
1. the website at www.familylawcourts.gov.au;
2. by calling 1300 352 000; or
3. by visiting the Family Law Registry.
Your lawyer can also assist with all routine and non-routine enquiries about the divorce process and provide you with all other relevant divorce information.