Getting a divorce in Tasmania
- September 1, 2022
- Posted by: admin
- Category: Family Law
Getting a divorce in Tasmania
American movies have made us think that divorce means a whole lot of drama but for those suffering from separation here is the good news – if you need a divorce, the process can be quick and painless. While you can get a lawyer to assist you if you need help, DIY Divorce in Tasmania is common and usually relatively easy.
How to get a divorce in Tasmania?
Divorce is the same process for most of Australia (Western Australia has a separate family court system). In Tasmania, the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Court) has two locations, Launceston and Hobart. The Court will also visit Burnie throughout the year. As we explain below, depending on your situation you may not need to attend court at all.
What is the process for a divorce?
The Court promotes online divorce as the preferred way for people to apply as it is the quickest and easiest way to get a divorce in Tasmania. You can find out more about the divorce process itself by visiting the Court website here.
Just create an account on the Commonwealth Online Portal here follow the instructions.
The documents that you will need to upload depend on various things such as whether you are filing a sole application by yourself or joint application with your ex-partner. At the very least, you will need to upload a copy of your Marriage Certificate so have it handy. The online application system will guide you through what documents you need to upload as you go through the questions.
NOTE: A divorce starts the clock running on the time to make an application for financial orders. You only have 12 months from the date a divorce takes effect to commence property proceedings. If you are unsure about what this means for you then call us to discuss your circumstances.
Do I have to go to Court when applying for divorce?
If you don’t have children (or they are over 18) then you don’t need to attend Court for the divorce hearing as long your application contains everything the Court needs.
If you have children that are under 18, then you will need to attend Court for the hearing. It’s nothing to be stressed about, the Court just wants to make sure that you and your ex-partner have made proper arrangements for the care of any minor children before making a divorce order.
You may also need to attend the divorce hearing if you are having trouble finding or serving your ex-spouse or if they file a Response to Divorce which challenges your application. There are very few reasons that an application for divorce can be challenged successfully but that doesn’t always stop people lodging a challenge.
What do I need to prove to get a divorce?
Australia has a ‘no fault’ system of divorce which means neither party needs to prove that any person was at fault for the marriage ending. Before granting a divorce, the Court will need to be satisfied that:
- You have been separated for at least 12 months (there are additional steps if you are separated but living under the same roof but it does not stop your application);
- The marriage is permanently at an end and there is no reasonable chance that the parties will get back together.
- That at least one of the parties is an Australian citizen/resident, lives in Australia or has lived here for 12 months immediately before filing the application;
- If you have been married for less than 2 years at the time you apply for a divorce, there is an additional requirement to attend counselling and get a certificate;
- If you have children under the age of 18, the Court will want to be satisfied that proper arrangements have been made for the care of your children; and
- If it is a sole application, the Court will require proof that you served your ex-partner with the application after it was filed (they will require additional information if you cannot do this).
How long does a divorce take in Tasmania?
A divorce order will usually be made between 6-10 weeks after you file the application depending on how busy the Court is. The divorce will not take effect until one month and one day after the Court makes orders confirming the divorce.
Is divorce the only option?
Many people contact us about annulling their marriage. An annulment is a finding by the court that there was never a marriage between the parties. This is different from a divorce and is only granted in particular circumstances. You can read more about dissolution of marriage and annulments here.
You don’t have to get a divorce straight after your marriage breaks down or even at all. Many people sort out parenting and financial arrangements straight after separation but don’t get around to applying for a divorce until much later. Parenting and financial applications are separate to the divorce process.
Some people choose to separate but never divorce. We generally advise clients to get a divorce as soon as they feel they are emotionally ready because you may lose contact with your ex-spouse which makes things more complicated if you decide to seek a divorce later.
How much does a divorce cost?
The Court charges a fee for the lodgement of the divorce application. Fees are outlined on the Court website here and change from time to time. You may be entitled to a discount if you hold a concession card. You may also need to pay a “process server”, which is a person who serves your application on your ex-spouse, usually only if your ex-spouse will not agree to being served by post.
If you need help with the application, Advocate Lawyers offers fixed fee options for filing of divorce application. Call us now to book an initial consultation with a lawyer about your specific situation.
When do I need to engage legal representation for a divorce?
The process of applying for a divorce can be a little daunting. If you are stressed out by forms, struggle with computers or lodging applications online, are nervous about serving your ex-partner or simply time poor you might wish to engage a legal representative to assist with your divorce. Advocate Lawyers offer fixed fees for assisting you with your divorce application in Tasmania.
If you have financial and parenting arrangements to sort through as well as a divorce, we recommend at least speaking to a lawyer to ensure you understand your rights. We offer fixed price packages for divorce and to draft documents confirming agreements that you have already reached you’re your ex-spouse.
Call us now to book an initial consultation with a lawyer about your specific situation.