Filing for Divorce: Why You Should See a Lawyer First
Deciding to separate can be a stressful and messy experience for all involved. ‘We’re getting a divorce’ is not a phrase most people want to say to their friends or family – but in some cases it might be the only course of action left in a difficult situation.
While the Family Court of WA has been streamlining its divorce process (filing for divorce can now be initiated online through Commonwealth Courts Portal), there’s a reason why so many people still decide to talk with a family lawyer.
If you and your partner have reached a point in your relationship where you believe a divorce is needed, the first thing you should do is get advice – whether together or individually. This is where the experience and knowledge of a family lawyer can help immensely.
Deciding on Filing for Divorce
Before any paperwork is filed or court dates are set, there are several factors that need to be considered before you can apply for a divorce.
First, you must have had a separation for 12 months. This means you and your partner have no longer been living together in a ‘domestic or marriage-like relationship.’ This can be done living apart at different addresses or living together – known as separation under one roof. You may be asked to show evidence of the separation and on what date this occurred as part of the divorce process.
This is something Family Lawyers can help with before anything is lodged – providing advice on what is and is not allowed during the separation period, legal council on what will be required and the best approach for your situation.
There are also specific cases where a divorce can take longer.
If you’re looking to apply for divorce within the first two years of marriage, there are several restrictions and criteria that need to be filled before the court will consider whether or not to grant permission.
As these situations are usually quite unique and complex, we highly recommend consulting with a family lawyer to discuss your situation before applying through the courts.
Talking with Frost & Associates
We understand that filing for divorce can be a stressful and emotional time for people, no matter how positive a note a relationship may end on.
At Frost & Associates our focus is making any legal process as straightforward as possible, with honest advice and experience when you need it.
If you need to talk about your situation, we’re here to answer your questions and help you find your way through the difficult times.