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information, support and advice people need following the breakdown of a serious relationship.
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Wikivorce Australia is part of the world's fastest growing online divorce and separation community, and is dedicated to those separating or divorcing under Australian Law.
Separation and divorce are without doubt stressful, emotional, confusing and often lonely experiences. Here at Wikivorce, you will find everything you need to know about the legal process, and receive support and advice from members who can offer you the benefit of their experience.
Wikivorce is “open” 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, our busy Question and Answer forums provide members with a platform for asking questions on all aspects of divorce, our chatroom allows you to chat with others in similar situations, giving you instant live support.
Why not write a blog, sharing your thoughts with the wiki-community? The library offers a wide range of resources and information, on a variety of subjects. Download court forms for free, in our Free Tools section.
The Wiki-community is open to everyone
Our members include:
- People suddenly faced by divorce who have many questions about how it works and how it will effect them and their family.
- People who wish to use solicitors for the key legal steps but want to do some of the preparation work themselves to keep costs within a budget.
- Litigants In Person who cannot afford or choose not to pay for solicitors and use Wikivorce to learn how to manage their own divorce from start to finish People who have been through divorce and are willing to pass on their knowledge and support to others.
- And also...A number of legal professionals who volunteer some of their time to answer member's questions.
How do I find a good divorce lawyer?
The most reliable way to find an effective and efficient solicitor is through personal recommendation. You can find local family lawyers using our services directory. You can set the search criteria to find:
- Family law lawyers who accept legal aid clients, which is a lower cost option for those on low incomes. (Legal aid is normally available for disputes about children that are urgent or cannot be resolved by counselling or mediation. In some limited cases, legal aid may be available for property disputes between married couples. You can apply for legal aid directly to the Legal Services Commission, or through a private lawyer.)
- Collaborative lawyers - Collaborative law is a non-adversarial process for achieving a fast and fair divorce settlement for both parties that concentrates on maintaining an amicable relationship between divorcing couples and their children.
- Those lawyers who offer a free 30 minute first appointment.
- The directory also lists Mediation services and Independent Financial Advisors.
What is the process for getting a divorce?
The complete divorce process consists of three main elements:
1) Dissolving the Marriage - the formal legal process by which the marriage is ended.
There is one only one ground for divorce in Australia that being, irretrievable breakdown. This is evidenced by a 12 month separation period and usually means the establishment of two separate households. For short marriages lasting less than two years, it is compulsory to attend counselling to show that you have considered reconciliation prior to applying for divorce. The best and simplest way to obtain a divorce is to make a Joint Application where both parties agree and fill in the one application. The alternative is for either the husband or wife to make a Sole Application for the divorce then serve the divorce petition on the other spouse.
2) Financial Arrangements - the process of dividing up the marital assets and agreeing on maintenance payments for the husband or wife.
The Court encourages divorcing couples to come to an agreement amicably without the need for court hearings. Agreements reached this way can be made legally binding by registering them with the Court as a Consent Order. The main assets to be divided typically include the house (former matrimonial home), savings and superannuation. Periodical payments from one spouse to the other are a common feature and include child support payments and spousal maintenance. Both parties provide full financial disclosure so that the size of the 'marital pot' to be divided is known.
3) Childcare Arrangements - the process of deciding who the children of the marriage will live with (residency) and how much contact the non-resident parent will have.
Further detail on the whole process is available in our Step By Step Divorce Guide.