We have found that people often confuse dividing property after separation with the Divorce process, they believe them to be one and the same.
They are in fact two separate processes. You can attend to a family law property settlement immediately upon separation provided that the parties (or a party) believes there is no reasonable likelihood of reconciliation. If you were married applications for property settlement must be made within 12 months of your divorce becoming final. If you were in a de facto relationship, applications for property settlement must be made within two years of separation.
Otherwise, you will need the Court’s permission to apply for a property settlement.
An Application for Divorce is about severing the marriage relationship itself and this cannot occur until you have been separated for a minimum of 12 months. Once you have been separated for 12 months you can apply for a Divorce.
It is worth noting though that at the time you apply for a Divorce you must also have been married for more than two years. If you have been married less than two years you will need to file a counselling certificate showing that you and/or your spouse have attended counselling and are unable to reconcile.
Applications for Divorce can be made solely or jointly. You can attend to the Application for Divorce yourself or you can seek assistance from a solicitor.
Weatherly & Associates charges a set fee for Divorce Applications (dependent on each person’s personal situation), and a list of our fees can be found under the Family Law tab on our website.
If you require any assistance in relation to a property settlement matter or an Application for Divorce, please do not hesitate to contact us.