When a marriage breaks down and is irretrievable, the parties will turn to the Family Court of Western Australia for a divorce order. A divorce order formalises the termination of the relationship, necessary if one or both of the parties intend to re-marry.
Divorce Applications in WA
After the breakdown of a marriage, the parties will eventually turn their minds to applying for a divorce order through the Family Court of Western Australia.
A divorce order formalises the termination of the marriage and extinguishes martial rights and obligations.
Should a couple choose not to divorce, the marriage will remain in place and so will the rights and obligations.
This is relevant when considering matters such as financial and
property settlements which are attained through a separate application. A divorce application is restricted to the termination of a marriage and does not provide facility for the distribution of marital assets or liabilities.
In our experience, parties often find it fairly easy to agree to apply for a divorce, while financial and property settlements are less simple to resolve.
Can I apply for a Divorce?
The primary requirements that must be fulfilled before a couple may apply for a divorce order are that the parties must agree that the relationship has irrevocably broken down, and have lived separately and apart for a period of 12 months immediately prior to applying for a divorce order.
Divorces can be applied for either separately or jointly. In our experience, most parties choose to apply jointly, with each party contributing 50% of the divorce application fee.
What happens after I apply for a Divorce?
The most important issue to be aware of when applying for a divorce, is that parties will have 12 months in which to apply for property orders from the date of divorce. This is why we recommend engaging an experienced Family Lawyer such as WLM Legal when applying for divorce, to ensure that your rights to a property division are not inadvertently neglected.
While it is possible to apply for property orders after this 12 month period, the process becomes significantly more complex and requires further information to be able to prove grounds to proceed out of time. If you suspect that you may fall outside of the 12 month period, it is important that you seek the advice of one of our experienced Family Lawyers to ascertain your rights with respect to applying for property orders.
So what's next?
The Family Court of Western Australia provide kits and information regarding applying for divorces. It is important to note, that recently, the Family Court have changed the system used to apply for a divorce. Divorce applications can now only be made through the online ComCourts portal system. For further information on this, visit the Family Court's page on Divorce.
Legal Aid Western Australia also provide further information about applying for a divorce in Western Australia on their website.
If you are ready to apply for a divorce, call us now to book an appointment with one our experienced divorce lawyer to ensure that your divorce is a simple, smooth and stress free process. Alternatively, please feel free to use the contact us box below.