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While most people probably think of all the mess that comes after a married couple separates as

“divorce”, in a legal sense, the divorce only relates to the termination of the marriage.  It does not actually include dividing up assets, working out if any spousal maintenance should be paid, and, most importantly, the care arrangements for children.

The Termination of The Legal Marriage

Divorce, or the termination of the legal marriage is a relatively straightforward process.  As we are blessed with a no-fault Family Law system, all a separated spouse needs to prove in order to obtain a divorce order is that they have been separated from the other spouse for at least 12 months.  This can be a little more difficult to prove if part of that period of separation has occurred under the one roof (“separation under the one roof”) as further evidence of separation will need to be provided.  Your ex-spouse will need to be personally served with your Application for Divorce and supporting documentation and, if you have children under 18 years of age, appearance at the divorce hearing is required.

The Law Act While Divorce

Before applying for a divorce it is generally important to have finalise your property settlement with your ex-spouse.  The reason for this is that under the Family Law Act, a married person has a period of 12 months after the date of their divorce to file an application for property orders.  Applications to the Family Law Courts after this time first need to obtain the court’s permission to file their application late.  This can be expensive, particularly if you are not successful.


We understand it can be intimidating and confusing when you have to deal with legal claims. Take the stress out of the process and schedule a meeting with us to discuss your needs. To us, you’re not just a number, and we want to alleviate the pain you may be experiencing trying times. When you need family lawyers in Melbourne to assist you with legal issues, we’re here for you.