Online Divorce Questions Answered
In this blog I give you a preview of Chapter 6 which is a series of general queries and topics which may arise during the course of commencing or proceeding with your Divorce application. We hope you find the information informative. Of course if you have any enquiries you can send them to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website at your-divorce.com.au for more information or to commence your divorce process.
Chapter 6- Your General questions answered:
Divorce and Domestic Violence- will I need to see my former spouse?Unfortunately, in life relationships do not end on amicable basis. Sometimes there are issues of domestic violence or drug use which impact on the parties. A common query received is whether it is necessary for a person applying for the Divorce to have any face-to-face contact or even reveal their address to their former spouse. The answer to these questions is simply no. The divorce application allows us to firstly, not disclose your residential address. It is our practice to enquire with you if this is to be the case. Secondly, in relation to undertaking the Divorce hearing it will not be necessary for you to attend the hearing. In joint applications and where there are no children under the age of 18 years your divorce application will be dealt with by the Court “on the papers” and no appearance is necessary. In the case of an individual application where there are children under 18 years, we will appear on the Divorce hearing on your behalf. Therefore, you can rest assured that your wellbeing and confidentiality is protected.
I am married overseas- can I be divorced in Australia?It is often the case we receive a query as to whether if you are married overseas can you be divorced in Australia. Subject to meeting at least the following minimum criteria you are able to divorce if:
- You have resided in Australia for at least 12 months and intend to continue to do so;
- If you have a form of permanent residency then you are able to apply for a divorce this is whether or not you have become an Australian citizen. If you have become an Australian citizen then somewhat curiously you need to advise the Court of when you arrive in Australia and produce a copy of your citizenship certificate or Australian passport as part of the application process. We at Your Divorce think this is slightly odd as this is not required if you are simply have permanent residency status.
- You were married overseas and are now an Australian citizen. Our comments above apply and you are able to apply for a Divorce.
My marriage certificate from overseas is in a language other than EnglishThere is a requirement that in filing your divorce application that your marriage certificate (if not in English) be converted into English by a qualified translator. At Your Divorce we have access to translators who would charge a modest fee if this is required.
I have children under the age of 18 at the time of making the divorce application- why do I need to give details of their health, financial support and education?As noted in the heading there is a requirement to provide the Court with information regarding the children who are in the household (both of the relationship and those who are otherwise occupants and potentially of an earlier relationship). Details of their schooling, health, financial support and how they spend their time between their parents are required. There is a provision in the Family Law Act which requires the Court to consider the wellbeing of the children prior to ending a Marriage. Oddly, when an unmarried or defacto couple separates there is no requirement for the Court to enquire as to the wellbeing of the children in this way. However, these provisions have been around since 1974 and there seems no current agenda to alter them. At the time of making your divorce application we would obtain from you the fairly simple information required to complete the application in relation to the wellbeing and upbringing of the children. Once the court has that information then the hearing will usually progress without any difficulty.
I only know the email address or Facebook address for my former spouse:Whilst we have touched on this topic in an earlier chapter, it is interesting to note the curiosity that the Family Law Act has not been updated to allow for service by email of your divorce application. Although the acknowledgement of service can be returned to us by email, the Family Law Act provides that service in the first instance must be either in person or by post. However, the court has adopted a flexible approach, that at the time of the hearing in allowing service by other methods where that is the only way the Divorce can be brought to the attention of the former spouse on a reasonable basis. In simple terms, we ask that service be varied to allow for service in this manner. To vary service we file another document with the Court called an Application in a Case and provide details by way of an Affidavit sworn usually by you as to why service other than post or in person is the best way to bring the application to your former spouses’ attention. Therefore we are able to overcome this potential hurdle.
The cost of obtaining a DivorceLike death and taxes, the legal ending of your marriage by Divorce can never be free. In providing our service we have reduced the legal cost of obtaining a divorce by at least $500.00 to 1,000.00 to other legal advisers who you may need to personally attend with. However, the other costs that must be considered in obtaining a divorce are the following:-
- The filing fee. This is a non-avoidable cost and $910.00 if you do not hold a health or concession card or $305.00 if you do hold such a card. Unfortunately, a Seniors Card which is issued in most states does not qualify you for the discount.
- Cost of obtaining a marriage certificate if you cannot locate your copy. As filing the Marriage Certificate is a compulsory part of the process if you have lost, misplaced or are unable to obtain your marriage certificate then you will need to obtain a copy usually from the Registry in the State in which you were married or your Country of marriage. This cost can vary, but is around $55 to $65 if obtained in Australia.
- The cost if it is required to personally serve your application your former spouse- in a small number of cases personal service of the application on your spouse will be required. This is probably in less than 10% of cases. However, if your former spouse will not acknowledge in some way your service of the application then personal service may be necessary and the cost of obtaining a third-party process server to hand the documents to your former spouse is usually in the range of $160.00 to $250.00. We will take all steps to try to avoid this cost, if possible and of course will discuss with you if it becomes truly necessary.