Family Law

Divorce & Separation

The breakdown of a marriage, or de facto relationship is an extremely trying time for all involved. The process of obtaining a divorce is separate to that of dealing with your property settlement, financial agreement, and children and parenting matters.

In order to file divorce, the following criteria must be met:

1. That the Family Law Court Perth has jurisdiction to deal with the divorce.
2. That proper service of the divorce has been affected on the non-applying spouse.
3. That there is a valid legal marriage between the parties.
4. That the marriage has broken down irretrievably.
5. That the identity of the children of the marriage whom are under 18 years of age must be
established, the Family Law Court Perth must be satisfied with the current arrangements for
their care and their proposed future arrangements.
6. That the parties have separated, and thereafter lived separately, and apart for at least 12
months.’

Our affordable divorce lawyers Perth can provide you with separation and divorce legal advice, as well as providing you with upfront fixed fee Family Law Court costs. At Affinitas Legal, our team of Perth Family Lawyers can provide you with upfront fixed fee costs for your divorce.

Divorce Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

Do I need to get a divorce?

There is no requirement to legally obtain a divorce in the Family Law Court of Western Australia. However, it is best practice to ensure that you obtain a divorce order, and separation agreement to ensure peace of mind that neither party will try to re-visit these matters at a later stage.

Where can I obtain a divorce separation agreement template for parenting matters?

The Family Law Court Perth have a number of resources available online for parents to utilise. For an example, head to page 7 of the following link https://www.familycourt.wa.gov.au/_files/Information_Kits_Brochures/Kit_Parenting_orders_Applicants.pdf.

We would always recommend that you obtain advice from our Family Divorce Lawyers Perth to ensure that the appropriate protective mechanisms are put in place.

Where can I obtain a divorce separation agreement sample for property matters?

The Family Law Court Perth have a number of resources available online for parties to utilise when reaching an agreement about their property matters. For an example, head to page 6 of the following link https://www.familycourt.wa.gov.au/_files/Information_Kits_Brochures/Kit_Property_Orders.pdf. We would always recommend that you obtain advice from our Family Divorce Lawyers Perth to ensure that the appropriate protective mechanisms are put in place.

Can a separation agreement be changed after my divorce?

In limited circumstances, a separation agreement can be set aside or changed, such as where the agreement does not comply with statutory requirements. This is an area of law that needs to be approached with great caution, and we would recommend you obtain advice from our Divorce Lawyers Perth before taking any action.

How will divorce impact on my Will?

Since February 2008 marriage and divorce invalidates an existing will. We highly recommend that you prepare a new Will in circumstances where you have recently divorced or married. It is also possible to prepare a Will, in contemplation of Divorce, however the wording in the Will is extremely important, and we recommend you obtain the service of our Family Divorce Lawyers Perth to ensure that this is done correctly.

Can I submit my Application for Divorce online?

Yes. Most Family Law Court Perth Applications can now be filed online using the Commonwealth Courts Portal

Can I get a divorce without a separation agreement?

In the Australian jurisdiction, it is possible to file for divorce without a separation agreement. You do not need a property settlement agreement after divorce, as this can be done before obtaining a divorce.

When can I apply for a divorce?

You must have been separated with your spouse for at least one year, before you can apply for your divorce. It is possible to be separated but remain living under the same roof for a period of time. If you separated from your spouse, but remained living together, the Family Law Court Perth needs to be satisfied that the separation occurred at the date stipulated, and that you had in fact separated. This will often require additional documentation provided to the Family Law Court.

It is important to note that in an application for divorce where the parties were married for less than 2 years, additional requirements need to be met. In some circumstances, you may be required to attend the Family Law Court Perth hearing in respect to your divorce.

Do I need to attend the Family Law Court Perth for my divorce?

If there is no child of the marriage currently under 18, you are not required to attend the hearing -this applies for both sole and joint applications. If you make a joint application and there is a child of the marriage currently under 18, neither you nor your spouse are required to attend the hearing. If you make a sole application and there is a child of the marriage currently under 18, you must attend the hearing.

What is a divorce separation agreement?

This is an agreement that complies with Family Law Court legislation, and is more commonly known in the Family Court Perth as either Consent Orders, or a Binding Financial Agreement.

Can I apply to the Court after divorce for a property settlement?

Yes it is possible to finalise a property settlement after divorce however, the Family Law Court Perth places a 12 month time limitation period for parties to bring an application after a Divorce Order is made. However, there are exceptions to this time limitation period. We recommend that you obtain tailored legal advice from our affordable Divorce Lawyers Perth.

How do I formalise post separation parenting arrangements in family matters?

It is possible to formalise a parenting arrangement or parenting plan by filing consent orders in the Family Law Court Perth.

Can the Family Law Court Perth finalise my divorce whilst I am overseas?

Yes. For the Court to have jurisdiction to grant a divorce, either party to the marriage, at the date on which the application was filed at the Court, must be able to demonstrate a connection with Australia.

Am I required to serve divorce documents on my spouse?

Yes, in sole applications you will need to provide the Court with an affidavit of service of the person that served the documents on the other spouse, and an affidavit of proof of the other spouses signature or identity.

If you are having difficulty serving your spouse with the divorce application, due to their location, work arrangements, or avoidance of service, we recommend you contact our Family Divorce Lawyers Perth in order to provide you with further legal advice.