Since 1976, there has only been one ground for divorce in Australia, which is that the marriage has irretrievably broken down, which can only be proven if the parties have been separated for at least twelve months. That, of course, instantly raises the question, what constitutes a separation.
A legal separation involves both a belief and the physical aspects. For there to be a separation, at least one party must believe that the marriage has effectively ended.
Tim Ryan - Director
A separation brought about just by work commitments is not enough; if, whilst away on work, a party decides that the marriage is over, the separation starts from that time, not from when the move for work started. The belief about the ending of the marriage only has to be by one of the parties, and does not need to be marked by some formal act or notice.
Physically, a separation requires the ending of life as a husband and wife. Usually this involves living in separate residences and ending day to day social contacts. This does not mean the ending of all contact. If there are children, there should be ongoing contact, but in the role as a parent.. Similarly, the couple may stay friends and see one another as friends rather than husband and wife.
Some couples may even stay living under the one roof after they have separated. This may be for financial reasons, or to help children adjust, or out of convenience while a home is sold. If a divorce is applied for and for some of the separation period the couple have lived under the one roof, the court will require some corroboration, usually from a friend or relative covering matters such as sleeping arrangements, the absence of social contact and intention and belief of the parties that they are separated.
One does not have to be divorced to deal with financial or parenting matters - these can be dealt with at any time. However, property proceedings must be commenced within twelve months after a divorce, or special permission must be sought from the court. On the other side of the coin, a divorce is not essential - unless another marriage is planned - but it only takes one party to get a divorce. Consent of a spouse is not required.
To apply for a divorce, the marriage must be proved, usually by producing a marriage certificate. Sometimes if people have been married overseas, particularly in countries where there has been unrest or conflict, that can cause problems, but those problems are usually solvable when filing for divorce.
How we can help
Quinn & Scattini Lawyers’ expert Family Law Team can assess your individual situation in accordance with the Act, provide expert guidance in negotiations with your former partner surrounding the fair division of property, offer practical and experienced advice if appearing before the Court is unavoidable, and provide you with the best possible representation if court-ordered agreements are required. With over 40 years’ experience, Q&S’s Family Law Team are experts in the family law field. The team also boasts two Accredited Family Law Specialists.
Attending an initial consultation, at any of our seven offices, is the essential first step.
The initial consultation provides you with an opportunity to meet your dedicated lawyer, discuss issues, identify your options, map solutions and provide an estimate of costs. Lasting up to one hour, our initial consultations provide the perfect opportunity to have a no obligation, confidential discussion about your family law matter.
In addition, the time spent provides you with an opportunity to assess whether our lawyer is the right one for you during this important and often stressful transition in your life.
We understand that the urgent, and often unavoidable, nature of family law matters may leave you financially blindsided.
If eligible, we may be able to represent you on a “deferred fee basis”. This arrangement means your legal fees can be paid at pre-determined intervals for example, following the sale of a property or at the conclusion of your matter. Our expert lawyers will keep you up-to-date with costs, allowing you to stay in control of spend.
To determine your eligibility, call Q&S on 1800 999 529, or alternatively submit an online enquiry below. This aspect can also be discussed during an initial consultation.
Please note, we do not offer “no win no fee” arrangements for family law matters.
Quinn & Scattini Lawyers are preferred suppliers of Legal Aid for criminal law matters only. If you require detailed information on the Legal Aid process, eligibility requirements or would like to make an application, visit Legal Aid Queensland’s website or access the Factsheet “Can I get Legal Aid”.
Why choose us?
You will be talking to a real expert, local to you. You will not be treated like another file number, but as a real person, and a person going through a difficult and stressful experience. Get expert advice, not just what you want to hear, in a language you can understand, not legal jargon.
Q&S’s expert family lawyers are available at any of Q&S’s seven office locations.
Get in touch!
Book an initial consultation, submit an online enquiry below, or speak to an expert family lawyer on 1800 999 529.