What & When? Divorce & Separation

Guided Legal Self Help

Invaluable guidance and how to save more than 50% in lawyers fees. Divorce can be DIY but speak to us first to avoid pitfalls.

For most clients this is a simple process and we don’t need to be fully involved saving them up to 50% in their fees.

However they do need to consider their financial and parenting options which are more complex and save their lawyers budget for this. This is not always the case as we also handle some complex divorce matters where spouses cannot be located.

There are important tips and traps to be aware of if you plan to apply for a divorce.

Being fully informed of the divorce process and legal framework will ensure that your divorce proceeds smoothly. It will also ensure that you do not inadvertently impact on your family law property settlement, spousal maintenance claim or parenting matter.

Divorce & Separation

Why Goldman Law Is Different? Selecting Good Family Law Firms?

  1. We are careful as to the number clients we take on to ensure that all clients can be treated in a transparent and exemplary manner.

  2. We are not a “ambulance chasing” or “AVO Divorce chasing” law firm. In many of the other firms, no win no fee is the majority of their business, so you are even worse than a number. They have been the business of the mass production of personal injury, now morphing into deferred fee claims for family law matters.

  3. You as a client, will deal with a senior lawyer or a senior partner for strategy. You can call or email us at any time and who will keep you informed as to what is going on in your matter and your fees.

  4. We deal with many complaints from clients who have gone to the sausage factory or other law firms and have now run out of money! They suck you in for an initial low fee. We provide a tailored approach to your personal needs with complete detailed fee estimates. This means we don’t take on every client but the clients we do retain are provided with exceptional legal strategy & transparency.

  5. We are also the first law firm to provide the guided legal self-help option where you use us as needed. You can save up to 50% in total legal fees. Call or contact us now for a no obligation discussion with a senior partner or senior family lawyer.

Call or contact us now for a no obligation discussion with a senior partner or senior estate lawyer

Our Senior Family Lawyers

Jaswinder (Jas) Sekhon

Jaswinder (Jas) Sekhon

Managing Director

Jaswinder has a fresh revitalizing approach to law which has led to outstanding results. Admitted to practice as a solicitor/barrister in four countries, with over 30 years’ experience in wealth, finance, tax, trusts, funds, and structures. Jas equally enjoys strategic work for clients in disputes, emerging, criminal or family law.

Jennifer Cheal

Jennifer Cheal

Senior Associate/Practice Manager

As the practice director, Jennifer is a consummate professional and simply an outstanding lawyer. She has a great eye for relevant detail and yet also a wonderful sense of perspective in devising and implementing legal strategies.

Custody Or Financial Split Before Divorce?

The granting of a divorce does not determine issues of financial support, property distribution or arrangements for children. It simply recognizes that the marriage has ended.

You can get Court Orders if your children are at risk immediately, or seek Custody, Parenting Plans & complete financial separation before divorce.

Guided Self Help?

We can have a free consult to discuss priorities and what not to do and what you can do. If you do the simple work with our help, use us for the more difficult parts, then save more than 50% in legal professional fees.

Even if it’s simple, clients should seek legal advice so as not to compromise their rights in parenting or financial matters.

It is strongly recommended that you obtain legal advice from a family lawyer before seeking a divorce. This will ensure that you are aware of the impact the divorce is likely to have on the rest of your family law proceedings and, importantly, that you do not do something that will prejudice your position.

No Fault Divorce

The Family Law Act established the principle of no-fault divorce in Australian law. When granting a divorce, the court does not consider why the marriage ended and the only ground for divorce is that the marriage has broken down and there is no reasonable likelihood that the parties will get back together.

Can I Apply For A Divorce?

You can apply for a divorce in Australia if either you or your spouse: regard Australia as your home and intend to live in Australia indefinitely, or are an Australian citizen by birth, descent or by grant of Australian citizenship, or ordinarily live in Australia and have done so for 12 months immediately before filing for divorce.

Separation & Still Living Together?

You need to satisfy the court that you and your spouse have lived separately and apart for at least 12 months, and there is no reasonable likelihood of resuming married life. It is possible to live together in the same home and still be separated.

What A Court Considers In Divorce?

The only grounds for divorce is that the marriage has broken down irretrievably. That is, that there is no reasonable likelihood that you will get back together. You must have been separated for at least 12 months and one day in order to satisfy the Court that the marriage has broken down irretrievably.

If there are children aged under 18, a Court can only grant a divorce if it is satisfied that proper arrangements have been made for them.

Divorce Cost & Fixed Fee Offer?

There is a filing fee for divorce applications and your lawyer will also charge a fee. Goldman Lawyers has some fixed price offers for those seeking to have a clear transparent legal process and cost in our offers

In some cases; for example, if you hold certain Government concession cards or you are experiencing financial hardship, you may be eligible for a reduced fee.

Can I Oppose A Divorce Application?

If you have been separated for more than 12 months, there are few opportunities to oppose a divorce Application. You can only oppose the divorce where:

  • There has not been 12 months separation as alleged in the Application, or the court does not have jurisdiction.

  • If you do not want the divorce granted, you must complete and file a “Response to Divorce” and appear in person on the hearing date.

  • You need to set out the grounds on which you seek the dismissal in the “Response to Divorce”.

  • If you file a response, you should attend the divorce hearing. If you do not attend, the Court may decide the divorce application in your absence. If it is difficult for you to attend in person, you may ask the Court to appear by telephone.

What If The Application Has Errors?

If you want the divorce granted but disagree with the facts in the “Application for Divorce”, you may file a “Response to Divorce”.

You need to state which facts you disagree with in the “Response to Divorce”. The errors might, for example, be that dates of birth are incorrect or the details regarding the children are no longer correct. You do not need to attend the hearing.

Filing The Response To A Divorce

  • If you want to file a “Response to Divorce”, you need to file it:

  • if served in Australia – within 28 days of the application being served on you; or

  • if served outside of Australia – within 42 days of the application being served on you.

Do I Have To Attend The Divorce Hearing?

  • No children under 18: If there is no child* of the marriage aged under 18 years, you are not required to attend the court hearing. This applies for both sole and joint applications.

  • Joint application with children under 18: If you have made a joint application, you and your spouse are not required to attend the court hearing (even if there is a child of the marriage aged under 18).

  • Sole application with children under 18: If you have made a sole application and there is a child of the marriage aged under 18 years, you (the applicant) are required to attend the court hearing unless circumstances prevent you from attending (see below).

  • Response to Divorce: If there is no “Response to Divorce”, the other party is not required to attend, although they may do if they wish.

    If a respondent has completed and filed a “Response to Divorce”, but does not oppose the application, he or she does not need to attend the hearing.

    If a respondent has, in a “Response to Divorce”, opposed the application, the respondent must appear in person on the hearing date.

  • Child of the Marriage

  • Any child of you and your spouse, including children born before the marriage or after separation

  • Any child adopted by you and your spouse, or

  • Any child who was treated as a member of your family prior to your final separation; for example, a step-child or foster child.

Getting Married Again! But wait…..

You should not make firm plans to marry on a specific date until the divorce order is finalized. You may, however, complete and lodge a marriage with an authorized celebrant before the divorce order is finalized.

If you intend to remarry, you must lodge the “Notice of Intended Marriage” with an authorized marriage celebrant at least one month before the date the marriage is solemnized, and comply with other requirements of the Marriage Act (1961). The authorized celebrant must sight a copy of the divorce order before the wedding can take place.

In most cases, the divorce order takes effect one month and one day after the divorce is granted. You should not assume the divorce will be granted at the first court hearing. For example, you may be told at the hearing that you need to provide more information.

Married Less Than 2 years?

If you have been married less than two years you will need to file a counseling certificate. To obtain a certificate you will need to attend counseling. The two years are calculated from the date of the marriage to the date of applying to the court for a divorce.

You and your spouse must also have been separated for at least 12 months before applying for a divorce.

Overseas Marriages

If you were married overseas, you can apply for a divorce in Australia if either you or your spouse:

  • Regard Australia as your home and intend to live indefinitely in Australia are an Australian citizen or resident, or

  • Are an Australia citizen by birth or descent;

  • Are an Australia citizen by grant of an Australia citizenship;

  • A safeguard and financial protection for both parties;

  • Ordinarily live in Australia and have done so for 12 months immediately before filing for divorce.

You must provide the court with a copy of your marriage certificate. If your marriage certificate is not in English, you need to file an English translation of it, and an affidavit from the translator.

Divorced Overseas & Australia?

You can apply for a divorce overseas. Australia will recognize a divorce if it was effected in accordance with the laws of that country.

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