SEPARATION & DIVORCE

Separating from your partner or spouse is a highly emotional and stressful experience with few winners. We’ve seen the many sides of divorce and separation and understand the issues. Clients need a balance of compassion and clear legal direction to ensure that they can move positively towards the future. Our experienced family lawyers offer practical and easy to understand advice in a supportive and sensitive environment. We know what a fair property settlement looks like and will advocate tirelessly on behalf of our clients to make sure they get a fair deal.
Our family law services include:
  • Applying for a divorce
  • Property settlements
  • Spousal maintenance
  • Parenting plans for child custody and visitation
  • Parental rights, father’s rights, and grandparents’ rights
  • Child support and enforcement of payments
  • Guardianship of children
  • Adoption
  • Family violence and intervention orders
  • Children’s court
  • International abduction of children
  • Application under the Hague Convention

Separating from your spouse or partner

Separation is when one or both people have decided that their relationship has come to an end. You can decide to separate from your partner even if they do not agree, and you do not need anyone’s permission. De facto couples have the same protections as married couples, and the Family Law Act applies also to de facto relationships.

After separating from you partner, you should advise organisations such as the Department of Human Services (DHS) Centrelink, Child Support and Medicare (whichever is applicable to your situation), that you are separated from your partner. You can also tell your family and friends.

It is recommended that arrangements are made for any children of the relationship, for example where the children will live.

Separated couples also need to determine what will happen with their property and finances, bills, debts, joint bank accounts, superannuation, or insurance and how their assets will be divided.

Divorce

A divorce is the legal end of a marriage. In Australia a divorce application is a separate process to property or parenting settlements and a finalised divorce is not required before you start making arrangements for your children or to divide your property. After a divorce is granted, however, there is a 12-month limitation period within which to bring court proceedings for property settlement or spousal maintenance.

Divorce orders are made by the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia, but in many cases, a divorce application will not require you to appear in court. Generally, the process involves filing documents with the court and the consent of both parties is not required.

A divorce application can be made when a marriage has broken down irretrievably and there is no reasonable chance of the parties getting back together. You must have been separated from your partner for at least 12 months, however, this does not necessarily require you to have been living in separate residences. If you have children under the age of 18 years with your former spouse, the court will need to be satisfied that proper arrangements have been put in place for their care.

A divorce order takes effect one month and one day after the order is made. After this time a Certificate of Divorce will be issued, and a party is then free to remarry.

De facto relationships 

Family law legislation also applies to de facto couples whose relationship has ended. For a couple who was not legally married to access remedies under family law legislation, a number of factors are considered to determine whether they were in a de facto relationship. These include, but are not limited to, the length and nature of the relationship, financial dependence or interdependence, the care and support of children, or whether the relationship was registered under state law.
For de facto partners, any court proceedings for a property settlement must be commenced within two years of separating.
If you have recently separated from a partner or are seeking a divorce, our experienced lawyers can provide advice about the next steps.

Islamic marriage laws and procedures

We have lawyers with a thorough knowledge and expertise in Islamic Marriage Law and procedures. We can assist with preparing Mahr Agreements, resolving disputes about Mahr after separation, and Binding Financial Agreements, and help with your Islamic Divorce to ensure a smooth finalisation.

We have a network of lawyers in Turkey and the Middle East and can arrange for your divorce and separation to be recognised overseas. We can also ensure that overseas properties are taken into consideration in your property settlement, to ensure a just and equitable division is achieved.

Why choose Melbourne Lawyers and Mediators?

We are a progressive and culturally sensitive law firm based in Northern Suburbs but serving all of Melbourne and Australia. Our staff speak English, Turkish and Chaldean and have a strong sense of community and commitment to handling their client’s family law matters to the highest professional standards.
If you need assistance, contact one of our lawyers at [email protected] or call 1800 99 31 32 for expert legal advice.