Top 5 Tips Before You Consider Separation


Separation is one of the most stressful and confusing events a person can go through in their life. Despite not only producing severe emotional turmoil, separation will also play upon the economic, social and legal aspects of a person’s life. Many people feel isolated, vulnerable and confused during this time, and rightly so due to its complexities. In order to make this process a little less daunting, we have identified 5 key separation issues you should know:


  1. You must have been separated for a minimum of 12 months before 

In order for the court to be satisfied that a divorce is necessary, you must be able to prove that you and your partner have been separated for at least 12 months. Similarly, the court may require evidence of your attempts to resolve the marriage, namely through marriage counselling or other means before they will proceed with the divorce application.


  1. There is no difference in the courts eyes between a De Facto relationship and Marriage

In the eyes of the court, parties to a De Facto relationship largely follow the same process as parties who are married, should that De Facto relationship have fulfil requirements such as duration (generally at least two years). Often, parties agree that a de facto relationship exists, however, sometimes there is the extra hurdle of having to prove one even existed. The Courts will look at the duration and nature of the relationship, amongst other things. If a de facto relationship is proved, your spouse is entitled to the same rights/assets as they would be in a marriage.


  1. A financial settlement and divorce are NOT the same thing

A common misconception, however these two processes are completely different. A financial settlement may be entered into prior the divorce. This settlement involves this division of all assets held by both parties before, during or after the relationship between the two spouses. A divorce rather simply encompasses the legal dissolution of the relationship.


  1. Superannuation is included in the division of assets

Each spouse’s superannuation is legally needed to be disclosed. Although classified as a unique kind of property, superannuation must be disclosed to the court in order to produce an accurate reading of their property pool. Superannuation can be split either through mutual agreement between spouses or by court order.


  1. When can I get re-married?

Should your divorce application be approved, the divorce order will come into effect one month and one day after the court date. You are not legally allowed to get married before this date.

The speed, fluidity and effectiveness of your divorce is going to be dependent on your communication with your spouse. We hope that these five basic principles of the divorce process enable people to feel a little more confident in their understanding of the legal system and enable them to make informed decisions for their future.

If you or someone you know would like any information on preparing for or assistance during separation please do not hesitate to contact us on 02 8325 1520 or visit our website.