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How long does divorce take?


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When a marriage breaks down, the processes that follow can be both costly and time-consuming. The time frame and cost of a divorce, however, will vary significantly from case to case. If a couple simply wants legal recognition that the marriage has ended, they need to apply for a divorce. If other arrangements, such as parenting arrangements and property and financial settlements need to be made, the length of the divorce process can be extended.

While the length of divorces may vary, there are a number of set time frames for certain processes that one can expect.

Divorce – Couples can only apply for a divorce when they have been separated for 12 months. Once an Application for Divorce has been completed, sworn and filed with the Federal Magistrates Court, the application is usually given a hearing date approximately 2 months from the filing date. If the court is satisfied that a couple has met the requirements for a divorce it will be granted. That order does not become effective immediately, but one month after the divorce is granted. Generally, the divorce process takes between 3-4 months.

Property and financial settlements – Once a Divorce Order has taken effect and become final, and if a couple has not already resolved their property settlement, there is a 12 month limitation period in which an application for property settlement can be made to court.

De facto and de facto same sex relationships – Under the current laws, partners leaving an unsuccessful de facto or same sex de facto relationship after 1 March 2009 can pursue property settlements in much the same way as married couples who have separated. The same laws and court systems are used (excluding Western Australia and South Australia). For those leaving a de facto relationship, an application for property settlements or maintenance payments must be made within 2 years of the relationship ending.

Divorce and separation processes can take time, so make sure if you’re planning a subsequent marriage that you plan enough time for a divorce to be officially granted. It is also important to be aware of time restrictions that apply to making an application for property or financial settlements.

For more information on how long your individual divorce or separation process is likely to take, speak to a divorce lawyer.Sydney has a wide range of experience family and divorce lawyers to give you guidance on your particularly circumstances.

Divorce lawyers from au are highly trained and experienced in Alternative Dispute Resolution. Contact them to hear more about their services.


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