When separating married couples use the phrase “getting a divorce” they usually mean resolving everything relating to their marriage – property division, care arrangements for the children, and a Divorce Order. In this article we outline what “getting a divorce” means in lawyer speak.
What’s the difference?
It is a common misconception that resolving your property and/or children’s issues with your former spouse means that you are automatically divorced. This is not the case. “Getting a divorce” requires a separate application to be made with the Family Law Courts.
How do I obtain a Divorce Order?
Separated married couples may start the process by filing an Application for Divorce with the Family Law Courts. The Application may be filed either by yourself or jointly with your former spouse.
Under Australian family law, you need to be separated for no less than 12 months before you can file an Application for Divorce. For married couples with children, the Courts must also be satisfied that there are adequate care arrangements for the children of your marriage.
What’s the significance of a Divorce Order?
The key factors for you to consider once the Divorce Order has taken effect are:
1. The Divorce Order may revoke or otherwise affect the operation of your Will. If your Will provides for gifts in favour of your former spouse, you should update it as part of your process of “getting a divorce”.
2. You are able to remarry.
3. If you have been unable to finalise a property settlement with your former spouse, time limits on commencing proceedings are triggered by the Divorce Order.