Sunday, 20 February 2011

Family Court: A different way to divorce

A divorce application is generally a simple affair:
  • lodge the application with a copy of the filing fee in the Federal Magistrates Court
  • demonstrate that there was a marriage, by  filing a copy of the marriage certificate
  • demonstrate that the the court has jurisdiction to divorce, as one of the parties is an Australian citizen, domiciled in Australia, or is ordinarily resident in Australia for 12 months before filing
  • show that there has been irretrievable breakdown of the marriage, which is demonstrated by 12 months separation
  • if there are children under 18, that proper arrangements have been made for their care, welfare and development
  • if it's not a joint application, prove that a copy has been served on the other party. 
The recent Family Court case of Pillai and Doshi shows another way to get divorced. The first thing to observe is that the Family Court can hear applications for divorce, but rarely does so (except in WA) : they are dealt with in the Federal Magistrates Court.

The parties had a 5 day trial about their children. Sometime during the trial, the husband said that he also wanted the judge to hear a divorce application, to wrap things up. The judge agreed, and at the end of the trial, after dealing with the checklist of matters for a divorce,  ordered that the parties be divorced. By doing so, the judge saved the husband having to file an application in the Federal Magistrates Court, serve it and wait another 2 or 3 months before it came to court, turn up and then get divorced.

Less red tape. Good result.


Anonymous said...

I have a really wierd situation.
I got engaged and legally married in october, we didn't have a religous marriage so we are not considered married. my fiance lives overseas, so right from the day we got married he has been overseas. now he broke up with me (even though i didn't want to) and he has left me with no choice except to go through a divorce. we aren't getting religously married anymore, but i feel like im forced to go through this legal divorce, which is very unfair. I dont even think I can get an anullment. what are my options?

UK Quick Divorce said...

This is a highly informative post. The divorce steps that you have shared can enlighten couples who want to make their marital separation legal and official through the court.

Unknown said...

Whatever terms you and your spouse agree upon, make sure to document them. I recommend that you then have your attorney draw up the legal settlement and file it on your behalf.
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DivorceLawyers said...

Divorce is one of the toughest decisions that you may have to make sometime. The decision often becomes complicated as it involves both emotional and financial issues. Your points are well made and relatable. Thanks for writing engaging and interesting material.