Separation, even in the best-case-scenario when you split amicably with your partner, can be extremely difficult. Closing a chapter of your life with someone you once cared deeply about is heartbreaking, even if you now hate their guts.
If it’s time to separate from your partner, we think you deserve to have the easiest divorce possible. You’ve already been through enough difficulty and heartache.
That’s where we come in. This article will give you a stress-free and easy-to-follow guide on how to get a divorce in WA, and the divorce process in Australia.
Before You Start The Divorce Process WA
Before you do anything, you need to understand what divorce application forms you’re going to need. There are two kinds of divorce papers in Australia, sole applications and joint applications. The difference between these two is if you’re going to apply for divorce by yourself, or together with your partner. The differences entail:
If you make a sole application without your partner, you become what is known as the applicant. This means only you need to sign the application and the respondent (your partner) does not. However, you will instead have to serve the application on your partner. This is where legal help and advice will really benefit you.
You do not have to visit court for this application if you do not have kids, or they are over the age of 18.
This is the sort of application you make with your partner. This usually means you’re separating amicably. Instead of an applicant and a respondent, like in the sole application, in a joint application both parties are joint applicants. Both you and your partner have to sign the application.
You don’t have to go to court in a joint application, unless you would like to go or there is a child of the relationship under the age of 18 years old.
What Makes You Eligible For A Divorce In Australia?
Unfortunately, not everyone can get divorced in Australia. This prevents holidayers from the east end of London impromptu separating while having a tiff. To be eligible for a divorce in Australia, you or at least your partner must answer yes to at least one of the following Questions:
- You were born in Australia or are an Australian citizen because of descent or family.
- You are an Australian citizen and have a citizenship certificate.
- You are legally living in Australia currently and have been legally living in Australia for at least the last 12 months. You must support this with evidence.
Unfortunately it does not stop there. There are two more things that you must answer yes to in order to be eligible for a divorce in Australia. They are:
- Has the marriage broken down and there is no reasonable chance of you getting back together?
- How long have you been separated? You must be separated for longer than 12 months and 1 day.
- Do you have your marriage certificate?
If you aren’t sure if you’re eligible or how to get this information, getting the help of a legal professional will smooth out the process.
Getting Legal Advice For Your Divorce
There’s no way around it, you will need legal advice in a divorce. Even if you seperate on perfect terms, you will need legal advice to help smooth the process. So don’t be put off by divorce costs in WA, because a legal professional will make things better.
The fact of the matter is, you could read thousands of articles just like this one, but they will never tell you the tailored advice you need to know for your specific case better than what a professional lawyer can.
The law court is not there to provide you legal advice, that is what lawyers are for. The court serves to impartially evaluate your case and decide an outcome.
Other Things You Need To Consider
As with anything, there are a number of things you must consider before going ahead. On top of your own wellbeing, or wellbeing of your kids if you have any, things to consider include:
Have You Been Married For Less Than 2 Years?
You’d hope a marriage would last more than just two years, but it happens. If you do separate before two years, you will need to file a counselling certificate when you apply for divorce. This shows you have gone through counselling to try and make the marriage work.
What If You Separated But Have Been Living Under The Same Roof?
If you separated but have been living under the same roof for the last 12 months, you will need to provide significant evidence that you have separated and there has been a change in marriage. The evidences are provided in an affidavit. For more help proving you’re separated, click here.
No doubt, in a divorce you will need to consider the children, if you have any. You need to put the child first. Consider; care arrangements, schooling, co-curricular activities, friends, and all other concerns.
What If You Can’t Locate Your Partner?
If you can’t locate your partner, you will have to put their address on your divorce application as “unknown”. You will need to submit another application asking to dispense with service or for substituted service.
If you wish to choose a different name to what you currently have, you will need to file an affidavit that outlines the difference.
If you think there are any other factors that affect your marriage, you need to seek out legal advice. Making mistakes in the court can be costly, and you don’t want your divorce to be any more difficult than it has to be.
How Much Does A Divorce Cost In WA?
Divorce costs vary a lot in Western Australia. A fee of $940 is payable to the courts for filing fee of the application, or potentially reduced to $310 in special circumstances. This does not include legal fees. You can get a comprehensive rundown on costs here.
How and Where To File For Divorce
You should file for your divorce on the commonwealth courts portal or ecourts portal. This means you can efile the divorce online 24/7 and access your court orders from anywhere. If you do this you will also need access to a scanner, printer and visa/mastercard. To use the portal, there are 17 steps:
So, What’s Next?
After you have submitted your file and application, the courts will revise it. If they need anything from you, they will notify you. Otherwise, lay in waiting for a result and more contact!
If you don’t want to have the responsibility of communicating with the courts, you should hire a lawyer to do it for you.
Where To Hire A Family lawyer?
Don’t let Google search stand in as your family lawyer. The information out there is incomprehensive and untrustworthy.
So how do you find a family lawyer you can trust and rely on? With so many family law firms in Perth, it can be hard to find one who will understand and listen to your situation.
Savannah Legal offers a free 1 hour consultation and we take the time to understand your situation, concerns and needs, before providing you with a legal plan outlining your options. Our goal is to give you affordable legal advice while lifting a burden off your shoulders. Book your free consultation today.
If you still have questions, such as; “how much does a family lawyer cost” and “how long does family court take in Australia”, we can help.