Divorce & Separation

ATW Family Law recognise that separating is difficult – emotionally, financially and practically. It is a time of great upheaval and our experienced practitioners at ATW Family Law can support you in transitioning to your next life stage keeping both your welfare and the welfare of your children at the forefront.

Separation Legal Advice

Upon separating it is important to obtain legal advice in order to understand your rights and obligations going forward. Even though you may be reluctant to engage a lawyer, understanding what happens next can alleviate a lot of the fear that often accompanies a separation.

ATW Family Law can advise you on initial matters such as:-

ATW Family Law can also refer you to other professionals who may be able to assist you including financial planners, accountants, psychologists and mediators.

ATW Family Law can advise you on your options following separation including:-

Applying for Divorce

There is only one ground for divorce in Australia, namely irretrievable breakdown of marriage.  There is only one way of proving that ground, and that is by being separated for twelve months. 

Separation generally means living separately and apart.  Separation can be under the one roof but, if separation under the one roof is to be relied on to prove that ground, then you will need significant corroborating evidence from third parties to establish that there has been an effective separation.  That evidence will need to establish that not only did you advise that you were separated, but you held yourselves out as a separated couple, you did not continue to socialise together or maintain an intimate, domestic or joint life in any way.

Once you have been separated for twelve months, the Application for Divorce is a relatively simple process requiring the filing of an Application for Divorce with the Federal Circuit Court, together with some supporting documents.  The Divorce Application can be made by one partner only, or you and your partner can apply jointly.

If the marriage is of less than 2 years duration, then counselling is required, and a certificate that you have considered reconciliation also needs to be filed with the Divorce Application.

Once the divorce is granted, a final Divorce Order will issue from the Court.

The effect of divorce is two fold:-

  1. It enables either of you to remarry;
  2. It starts time running within which financial matters need to be resolved under the Family Law Act. You have twelve months from the date of the divorce within which to either settle property or commence proceedings for property settlement. If you do not file within that twelve month period, then you are unable to do so without leave of the Court or the consent of both parties.

Family Violence

The Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) has extensive provisions regarding family violence and abuse. The Act recognises that family violence can take many forms, including physical, verbal, psychological and financial conduct by one party towards the other.

When making a parenting Order, the Court is required to make an Order which is in the best interests of the child, or children. The Court is directed to consider both primary and additional considerations, including the benefit to a child of a meaningful relationship with a parent and the need to protect a child from actual or threatened family violence or abuse.

The Family Law Act not only provides an extensive definition of what constitutes family violence and abuse, but also directs the Court, when considering the best interests of a child and where family violence or abuse is alleged, to give greater weight to the need to protect a child from physical or psychological harm, or from being subjected or exposed to abuse, neglect or family violence.

The Court must carefully consider allegations of family violence and abuse, as well as any family violence Order made. Often where there are allegations or instances of domestic violence, an application can be made for an Apprehended Domestic Violence Order (ADVO) in a state based Court which can put in place conditions upon a party, including restraints on approaching a party or child, restricting attendance at certain locations or imposing additional conditions.

Whether a person has been subjected to family violence, or is the subject of allegations of family violence, it is important to obtain legal advice.

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Our Family Resources

Child Support

Child Support is generally determined under the Child Support (Assessment) Act through the Department of Human Services (Child Support) (“the DHS”) rather than the Family Court.  In order to determine the amount of child support

ATW Family Law Policies

At ATW Family Law we are committed to our client’s concerns and needs from start to finish. We are obliged to remain diligent to any possible conflict of interest that may arise in any matter