The most common questions about separation and divorce
There can be a lot of confusion about the difference between separation and divorce. Arming yourself with information can be more powerful than arming yourself with a lawyer. Here, we answer some common questions about separation and divorce.
What is the difference between separation and divorce?
Separating means that you and your former partner/spouse no longer live together as a couple. Divorce is a different process to separating and is the formal ending of a marriage in the form of a divorce order. Only the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia and Family Court of Western Australia can issue a divorce order, and only when:
• you were married
• your relationship has broken down and there is no reasonable likelihood that you will get back together (this is evidenced by being separated for at least 12 months); and
• Australian citizenship or residency requirements have been met.
What am I entitled to? How do we divide money and property?
When you separate, you need to think about practical matters like dividing your money and property. The way couples do this largely depends on their individual circumstances. To divide things fairly, you need to consider how the cash, assets and debts of the relationship will be split up. The following needs to be considered:
• determine the value of all property.
• assess the contributions of each person.
• examine the future circumstances of each person; and
• ensuring a fair and equitable settlement.
If you are unable to reach an agreement, then you may need to go to Court. After considering all the above, the Court has a wide discretion to make an Order that considers if the division is fair and equitable.
My former partner and I have separated, where do I start?
Most amicable couples simply want to make sure their arrangement is fair, and in line with what most other separated couples in their situation have done. This is where amica can help. Designed by family lawyers, amica helps guide separating couples (married and de-facto relationships) to finalise their parenting arrangements and property division online. Through the application of amica’s artificial intelligence, you can resolve your property division based on your own circumstances.
amica’s award winning design also allows you to make ongoing arrangements for the children if you have any.
Go to amica.gov.au