A divorce lawyer will be unable to lodge your application for divorce orders if you have been married for less than two years unless you satisfy the counselling requirement. Parties married for less than two years must provide a counselling certificate with their divorce application in order for it to be considered by the Court.
What is a counselling certificate?
A counselling certificate must be signed by an approved counsellor. This certificate sets out that the parties with the counsellor’s help have considered reconciliation without success.
Exceptions to the counselling requirement
The requirement for a counselling certificate can be waived if the Court is satisfied that special circumstances exist that warrant the divorce application to continue regardless.
It is not clear what scenarios will fall into the category of special circumstances affording dispensation. In the case of Nuell and Nuewll (1976), Justice Fogarty held that it was enough that both parties were not interested in attempting counselling. Contrastingly, in other cases such as Philippe and Philippe (1978) and Malyszko and Malyszko (1979), the Judges have held that special circumstances are facts that are peculiar and depart from the norm.