Couples in dysfunctional relationships may opt for divorce. If you plan to divorce your partner, read the extract below for a few tips.
Determine the Legality of Your Divorce
Consult a family lawyer to evaluate the legality of your divorce. For example, in Australia, you must be separated for at least one year for the court to grant you a divorce. On the other hand, couples married for less than two years need a counselling certificate. Divorce in Australia is granted on a no-fault basis. Therefore, the court will not be interested in why the marriage broke down.
If Possible, Settle Out of Court
The easiest way to divorce your partner is through an out-of-court settlement. This happens when you had a written contract such as a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement.
You could also talk with your spouse and agree on how to finalise the dissolution of your marriage. If you cannot agree, ask your lawyers to intervene. The only way to settle out of court is by acknowledging the fact that negotiation is a give and take process. One person is unlikely to receive everything in such an agreement. Once you reach an agreement, your lawyers will file consent and financial orders in the family court.
Always Follow Court Orders
Once divorce proceedings commence, the judge may give temporary child custody or property settlement orders. For example, the judge may ask that the child lives with the mother until the case is determined. Do not attempt to go against such orders; otherwise, the court may hold you in contempt. Also, do not lie to the court in an attempt to influence the judge's decision. For instance, some people produce fake documents to conceal property or money. If such a ploy is discovered, the court will be much more likely to rule against you.
Your conduct during the divorce proceedings can significantly impact the court rulings. Below are some things to remember about your conduct:
- Do not attempt to sell or transfer joint property without the consent of your spouse.
- Avoid financial misappropriation. For instance, do not gamble or misuse your family finances.
- The court might find you unfit as a parent if you engage in negative behaviours such as alcoholism or violence.
- Involve your spouse when making huge financial decisions. For instance, if you require to buy a car or house before you are officially divorced, you will not want to go behind their back for this or you may risk legal repercussions
An experienced family lawyer can significantly ease the divorce process. He or she will examine the legality of your divorce, evaluate the possibility of an out of court settlement and advice you on divorce conduct.