Navigating the intricacies of family law can be challenging, especially in emotionally charged situations like divorce. At Collective Family Law Group, with presence in both the Gold Coast and Brisbane, we’re dedicated to providing comprehensive guidance through these complexities.
According to the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth), for a divorce to be processed, a few basic requirements must be met:
- Irretrievable Breakdown: The marriage must have suffered an irretrievable breakdown.
- 12-Month Separation: The couple must have been separated for at least 12 months prior to seeking a divorce.
- No Chance of Cohabitation: There should be no reasonable likelihood that the couple will resume living together.
For marriages lasting less than two years, there’s an additional necessity: proof of counseling attendance through a certificate or special court permission under unique circumstances. If children are involved, suitable arrangements for their care, well-being, and development must be ensured.
Several complications can arise during the divorce process:
- Living Under One Roof Post-Separation: For the well-being of their children, some couples continue to live together post-separation. It doesn’t negate the mandatory 12-month separation period, but it raises questions about whether the marriage truly ended. The dynamics—whether they function more as co-parents rather than spouses—can influence the legal assessment.
- Disagreement on Separation Timing: If one party claims they’ve separated while the other disputes it, it can delay the divorce process. Identifying the exact moment of separation becomes essential, focusing on the couple’s actions, intentions, and communications both before and after the claimed separation period. Generally, the 12-month separation is believed to start once both parties decide to end the marriage.
- Intermittent Cohabitation: Separation doesn’t always mean a complete end to interactions. Some couples might reunite briefly or maintain sporadic contact. The Family Law Act usually allows couples to resume cohabitation once for up to three months without nullifying prior separation. Yet, each situation is unique, and the specific behaviors, intentions, and communications involved in the case can influence the legal standpoint.
Regardless of your situation, the team at Collective Family Law Group is here to support and guide you through every step of the divorce process, ensuring it’s as seamless and stress-free as possible.