A separation is the step taken before a divorce is finalised. In divorce proceedings, you must have been separated for at least 12 months before you are granted a divorce. You are not required to officially register a separation, however, it is important to note down the date of separation. The Court must be able to find proof of this separation, for example, noting the date in your diary or saving text messages.
After the date of separation, the parties have 2 years in which they can initiate legal proceedings and resolve financial and property settlements (in a de-facto matter), and 12 months from divorce (in a marriage).
Where there are property or parenting issues involved, it may be necessary for a separation lawyer to file an application with the Court separate to filing an application for divorce. These issues can be dealt with immediately following separation.
If there are children involved, the first compulsory step to take before commencing any family law legal proceedings in relation to children is to speak with a Family Dispute Resolution practitioner who can provide assistance in discussing arrangements for children.
Often couples may find it best for themselves and their family structure to reconcile their relationship. While it may be a daunting task, couples may choose to go to couples counselling to resolve their relationship issues.
The Family Relationships(link is external) site has resources and contacts which may be helpful in the reconciliation process.
It is recommended to seek legal advice before you begin the separation process.
For advice about what a separation lawyer can do for you contact us on 1800 300 170 or email us at email@example.com
Family law situations can be complex and sometimes they can involve serious issues. Information outlined is proposed to provide general guidance only. Due to the seriousness of legal matters as well as the uniqueness of your individual situation, professional advice should be sought. For advice, please contact one of our Family Lawyers.