What are the strict legal requirements when completing a Divorce Application regarding arrangements for children

By 21 May, 2019Divorce

By way of background, there is a section within a Divorce Application enquiring about the arrangements for children so that a Court can establish there are proper arrangements in relation to their care and wellbeing.

When you complete an Application with Your Divorce there is a section where we seek information from you in relation to the 4 following topics:-

  1. Firstly are there any children of the relationship (or in fact any other children in the household) at the time of making the Application for Divorce.
  2. In relation to those children whether they are of school age, what school they attend and what Year level.
  3. Do the children spend time with 1 or both parents either in person or by telephone (very little other information as to actual time is needed).
  4. How the children are financially supported. Again brief information is requested as to whether both parents contribute to the financial support of the child or whether 1 parent solely supports the child.
  5. A question as to the child’s health. Is it good or are there issues. It is very rare indeed that anything other than good is stated. If the child has an intellectual or physical impairment further detail can be sought and added to the Application.

On a divorce hearing does the Registrar make a detailed inquiry regarding the children’s wellbeing

In the hundreds of divorces that we have undertaken over many years, the answer is NO. Provided the above simple information is completed and provided in the Application the Court will not usually make inquiry beyond what information is provided in the Application. As long as there are no gaps or information omitted the issue in relation to the children’s wellbeing will be addressed and the matter finalised based on the information within the Application.

So why is the issue of children’s wellbeing within a Divorce Application

This is an interesting question which is the subject of an earlier article (feel free to read this article for more detail). However, in brief, when the Family Law Act commenced in 1974 the process of ending the marriage by way of divorce was simplified, however, there seemed to be a historical concern that the legal act of getting a divorce could have an adverse impact on children and the Court should make an inquiry at this time. One would wonder how this is different from a non-married or defacto couple who separate and have children but are never scrutinised by a Court as to the children’s wellbeing after they separate. Interesting.

Your Divorce Application

Using our simple application we will obtain the necessary information from you in relation to any children under the age of 18 and ensure that this section is completed so that your divorce application can proceed smoothly. Once again, simply click on the Get Started section of our website to commence your Application or email us at help@your-divorce.com.au if you have further inquiry at this stage.