- 118,401 marriages registered and 46,604 divorces granted in Australia in 2016
- Average length of marriages that end in divorce is 12.1 years
- 1 in 3 marriages will end in divorce
- 1 in 5 will marry more than once
THE SEVEN YEAR ITCH?
Well, the statistic (at least in Australia) suggest that the average length of marriage that end in divorce is 12.1 years, so surviving the “Seven Year Itch” may not be enough.
The fact is that 1 in 3 marriages will end in divorce, so chances are you will come across someone who needs to go through the pain of divorce. Most of the time, someone undergoing divorce will want to speak to is his/her close friend or family member to get some “advice” and here are some tips to help you sound like an expert when you have that discussion.
IS A PRIVATE DETECTIVE NEEDED?
The answer is – NO!
Australia has adopted the principle of no-fault divorce. This means that the Court does not require to consider which partner was at fault in a marriage breakdown. In order to apply for divorce, you will only need to prove an irretrievable breakdown of the relationship which is demonstrated by 12 months of separation.
Unlike some other countries, in Australia a partner having extramarital affairs will not impact on the division of assets or terms of the parenting orders. Therefore, time to save the money on hiring the highly skilful private detective to take photos of the partner having an affair – it does not make any difference in family court proceedings.
WHAT IF THE OTHER PARTNER DOESN’T WANT TO DIVORCE?
Once the couple has been separated for more than 12 months, any one of them can apply for a divorce through the Family Court by filing an Application for Divorce. There is no need to have the consent of the other partner.
However, it is important to understand that divorce application does not resolve children and financial matters.
WILL SOMEONE LOSE 50% OF THE ASSETS WHEN DIVORCED?
First of all, there is NO automatic split of assets on a 50/50 basis and each case is different.
If the couple cannot reach an agreement regarding property division, the decision will have to be made by the court. In doing so, the court will assess various factors such as the parties’ respective contribution and needs, duration of the marriage, number of children etc and determine a division that is “just and equitable”.
Whilst application for divorce can only be made after 12 months of separation, division of assets can happen immediately after separation.
WHAT ABOUT THE CHILDREN?
In Australia, the term “child custody” is no longer used – because it sounds like the child is a commodity that its ownership can be changed.
Instead, it is referred to as parental responsibility. If the court has to make a decision about parental responsibility, the court must regard the best interests of the child as the paramount consideration. In doing so, the primary considerations are the benefit to the child of having a meaningful relationship with both parents and the need to protect the child from physical or psychological harm.
As a result, in the absence of possible harm to the children and in normal circumstances, the court will order that the parental responsibility be shared equally between the father and mother.
DO YOU SOUND LIKE AN EXPERT NOW?
If you still cannot answer your friends or family members’ questions, perhaps they should speak to a real expert – an experienced family law lawyer!