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Divorce & Marriage Separation Lawyers Melbourne
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Divorce & Separation FAQs

What am I entitled to during a separation?

During a separation, both you and your partner have the right to access shared assets, from bank accounts, stocks or shares, to occupying the family home and other tangible assets like vehicles. If you and your partner have conflicting needs or interests, it may be best to organise a formal separation agreement between both parties to ensure that everyone’s individual needs can be met with minimal frustration.

How long does it take to file for divorce in Australia?

Following a mandatory 12-month separation period, it is possible for a divorce papers to be served and filed all within an average of four to six months, although some divorces have taken as little as one month to finalise. Cases that include complex child custody arrangements or are organised alongside property or financial settlements may naturally take more time to finalise than other simpler arrangements.

What are the average costs of filing for divorce in Australia?

Although average costs of a divorce application tend to be around $2000-$4000, the costs associated with divorce naturally tend to vary depending on the context of the separation and proposed divorce in question, as well as whether or not childrens-matters must also need to be organised alongside divorce proceedings.

Are divorce lawyer fees tax deductible?

As divorce lawyer fees are considered to be personal legal fees under ATO regulations, they are unfortunately not tax-deductible. It is recommended that you discuss billing and fees and other related questions with your divorce lawyer either during your preliminary consultation or even prior to this via a phone call to ensure all the information you receive surrounding fees aligns with the fee structure of your Family Lawyer.

How are assets generally divided during a divorce or separation?

The division of assets takes into consideration the ages and earning capacities of both parties to ensure that each party receives a fair and equitable arrangement during property or financial settlements either during or following the finalisation of a divorce or separation. It must be noted, however, that there are time limits on property and financial settlements following the finalisation of a divorce, so it’s always best to address asset division with your Family Lawyer.

How is separation different from divorce?

Divorce is the legal termination of a marriage after a couple has been separated for a minimum of 12 months, whereas separation is the end of a marriage or de facto relationship without any legal requirements or processes

What is the legal process for separation?

Unlike divorce, there are no legal processes or requirements for a couple to separate, regardless of whether they're married or in a de facto relationship.

Do I need to provide spousal support during separation?

Spousal support entitlements after separation depend on a variety of factors. The most important ones include the length of the relationship, contributions made by either partner and their financial situation. Unlike in a divorce, there are no set entitlements for spousal support after separation, so it's best to speak with a family lawyer about the best course of action.

How do I file for divorce in Australia?

The first step in filing for divorce is to lodge a 'petition' or court application with the Family Court of Australia. The petition can be lodged by either party and details about the relationship, property and children if any need to be included. The Family Court will then mail a notice of your divorce to you and your partner. You will then have either 28 days or 90 days (depending on the state in which you are divorcing) to respond in a written statement, which can be done online. Having responded, a court date for when the divorce hearing will be held will be determined. The date for your divorce hearing can vary from 4 months to up to 2 years depending on the backlog of cases and how fast each party responds at each step of the process. However, these timelines are just an estimate - a family lawyer can help you file for divorce and help you with each stage of the process.

How can I make going through divorce easier?

Divorce can be a stressful time, especially when there's a conflict between you and your ex. One of the best ways to deal with the stress is to speak to a professional family lawyer before you begin filing for divorce. A family lawyer can assist you throughout the entire process of your divorce and help ease the stress and complications that can arise from it.

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