Preparing for divorce checklist

By 21 January, 2019Divorce
Divorce QLD, NSW, SA, WA, VIC

One of the enemies of getting a divorce is procrastination. The reasons for procrastination vary but one of the key reasons is not knowing what to do or what documents are required to make it happen. For this blog we give you a snap shot of the things you will need to do to assist us in filing your application.

Preparation

When you complete our divorce application we will ask you for a few documents. It can be handy to have these ready either scanned or able to be photographed and sent through to us with a clear image. These documents include:

  • personal identification with a photograph i.e. a driver’s licence or passport
  • your marriage certificate – again either scanned or a clean photograph – do not panic if you don’t hold a copy of your marriage certificate, we can obtain a copy for you but there will be a cost to acquire same from the local registry of about $65.00.
  • if you are an Australian citizen not by birth i.e. becoming a citizen by living in Australia being naturalised, a copy of your citizen certificate.
  • if you are in receipt of any health or other benefits and have a health benefit or similar card then we need a copy of both sides of your most current card so that we can obtain a discount on your filing fee. We don’t want to pay an extra $600 if we can avoid this on your behalf.

If I am married how long have I been separated

To get a divorce the critical time period is twelve (12) months of actual separation from your spouse. As we know sometimes separation can occur in a variety of circumstances including being separated under the one roof in the household. In preparing to complete your divorce application you should jot down the dates of when separation occurred and even some details of times that you may have lived together even if separately under the one roof. This will help us in determining how your application can proceed and what affidavit material we will need to file with the court.

How will I serve my spouse with the divorce

The important news is that you will never have to personally serve your spouse with the application (the Court Rules do not allow this) however, the application in most circumstances will need to be brought to the attention of your spouse and this can happen in a number of ways. What you will need to think about is which of these circumstances apply to your spouse so that we can help you prepare to arrange the service component:

  • your spouse actually wants to help undertake the divorce as a joint application and is happy to sign the application once we have prepared it (this is comparatively rare in our experience);
  • we are able to serve a copy of the divorce application on your spouse by post with a form that they will sign acknowledging they have received the documents;
  • you know where your spouse lives but are concerned they will not return any acknowledgement of the divorce application served by post. We will then need a process server to attend and physically hand them the document.
  • I am not sure where my spouse lives but believe others may know. It is not uncommon where separation has been for some time that you lose track of where your former spouse lives or your former spouse will not tell you where they reside. In this case if there are other people such as children of the relationship, relatives or family friends who would bring the application to their attention then you should take details of who those people are so that we can send them a copy of the documents. Even if you know social media details of your spouse we can endeavour to serve the application through social media such as Facebook to satisfy the Court that the other party is aware of the application.
  • You have no idea where your former spouse lives and there is no-one you know who can bring it to their attention. In this case do not panic. There is still the option of completing a comprehensive affidavit of what enquiries have been made to establish where your spouse is, and we can proceed on the basis that the service component of your application is waived (not required).

Getting your thoughts together regarding the above information is really useful and will save time in the divorce application.

Are there children of the relationship

A divorce application asks some simple questions in relation to any children of the relationship who are still under 18 years of age. Where possible we will need details of their dates of birth and who they are living with. Also, whether they are at school, what school they are attending what year level.

Finally, the application will ask whether they are in good health or if they have any significant health issues that should be identified as the Court wants to know that they are being adequately addressed.

Have I put enough money aside to proceed with the divorce

The two major costs of the divorce are our legal fees in preparing all the documents and attending the hearing if necessary on your behalf. this is a fixed fee of $550.00 unless we have to do further material about serving your spouse when they can’t be found. You will need to allow an extra $100 in those unusual circumstances.

Additionally, there is the filing fee charged by the Court which is $910.00 if you do not hold a health or other concession card or $305.00 if you do.

Worse case scenario

Finally, there are two other potential costs being the cost of a process server if the application is required to be personally served. We have allowed $250.00 for this. Also, if you do not have your marriage certificate as mentioned above the cost to order one is about $65.00.

Ready to Go

The short guide above gives you a lot of relevant information as to how to gather your thoughts and avoid the procrastination issue. Don’t forget the convenience of Your Divorce is that you can these documents together and fill in the form at any time which suits you morning or night. We will then do the rest. So, don’t procrastinate, hesitate or panic – we will get you through this process as quickly and painlessly as possible – just take the first step.