Does divorce need both parties to agree?
The idea of obtaining a divorce from an uncooperative spouse may feel like an uphill battle. However, you do not need your spouse’s consent to obtain a divorce. Every state in Australia now has an option for a no-fault divorce. The no-fault principle, established by the Family Law Act 1975, means that the court does not need to know the reason for the divorce, just that the marriage has broken down irretrievably and there is no hope of reconciliation. If a divorce application is made by you solely, you will be required to serve a copy of the application on your former spouse and provide evidence to the court that the application has been served. If you do not know the location of your former spouse, you may have to apply to the court for substituted service or dispensation of service. Our family law team can assist you in this regard. The other party may then file a Response to Divorce if they disagree with any of the information provided on the application or if they oppose the divorce.
If you are concerned that your former spouse may have grounds to oppose, do not hesitate to contact our team of experienced family lawyers. If your former spouse does not object or file a response to the divorce application, there are no dependent children under 18 of the marriage and you have complied with service requirements, you should not be required to attend the hearing.
Can I get a divorce if we got married overseas?
If you got married overseas, there are often legal variables to consider. You can get a divorce in Australia if married overseas if:
You or your spouse is an Australian citizen (by birth, descent, or grant of Australian citizenship); You or your spouse live in Australia or have lived in Australia for the past immediate 12 months before applying for your divorce; or You regard Australia as your home and intend to live here indefinitely.
If you meet one of the above criteria, then you can apply for divorce through the Family Court. However, it is important to note that you will need to be able to provide proof of your circumstances.
How long does a divorce take in WA?
During your application for divorce on the e-Courts portal, a court date can be chosen which will be subsequently scheduled after filing. A Registrar of the Family Court will review the Application once filed in preparation for the hearing. Your divorce hearing is usually listed six to eight weeks after filing but can vary significantly depending on the Court’s availability. At you divorce hearing, the Registrar may grant the divorce. However, the divorce will not come into effect on this day. One month and one day after your hearing, your divorce will be finalised. However, it is difficult to advise the length of a divorce application from start to finish. This is mainly the case for sole applications where the divorce application must be served on the other party. For a sole application, there can be many issues.
Who gets what in a divorce?
It is important to understand that a divorce is separate from a property settlement. A divorce legally ends your marriage, but does not deal with arrangements for children or how you and your former spouse should divide your property. You can finalise a property settlement as soon as you separate. However, you must do so within 12 months of your divorce being granted, or you will need to file a court application. Our family and de facto lawyers have extensive experience in these matters and can assist you if you find yourself in this situation. If you require further information in relation to property settlement or children’s care arrangements, please see our Family and De Facto page here.
How much does a divorce cost?
As at 1 November 2023, the divorce application filing fee in WA is $1,060. However, your filing fee may be reduced to $350 if you qualify for a reduction. You may qualify for a reduction if you possess a valid healthcare card or other valid concession card. The costs involved in a divorce application depend upon the individual circumstances of the case, including the level of complexity. It also depends on nature of the application, being sole or joint, if personal service is required, and whether you require a lawyer’s attendance at a hearing, together with several other important factors. We believe in full transparency with our clients.
All our clients are fully aware of what their costs are and likely to be. We provide our clients with up-to-date information on their costs at all stages of the process. At HHG Legal Group, we are often able to offer our client’s a fixed fee for a divorce.
If you wish to be provided with an estimate of fees, contact one of our offices in Western Australia and book an initial fixed fee consultation with one of our experienced divorce lawyers.
How will this impact my Will?
Usually, in Western Australia, a divorce order will revoke a Will. However, there are exceptions to this. Working together with our Family law team, we have lawyers with extensive experience that can provide you with high-quality, relevant information about your will and estate planning. Please submit an enquiry if you feel you need legal advice regarding your Will if you are going through a separation. Enquire now
Can the public access my divorce records?
The Family Court holds all divorce records. The public can access other people’s records in rare circumstances. To do so, a person must write to the Family Court to request a copy of the relevant record and explain why they require it. The court will then consider the application. This is not easy. If you seek somebody else’s divorce record we urge you to obtain legal advice.
Why is a divorce lawyer needed?
It is important to engage a divorce lawyer to provide you with advice tailored to your individual circumstances and needs. It is also desirable to engage a lawyer with a wealth of knowledge and experience, who to provide high quality advice in the specific area of family and de facto law. Often people become tripped up with the procedural and service requirements of a divorce application. Our team of divorce lawyers have a wealth of experience about the necessary requirements and details of the divorce application. Our divorce lawyers are also experts in this area should your former partner oppose the application.