Why filing for Divorce takes 12 months

23rd May 2017

You’ve decided to separate from your husband or wife.

It was not an easy over-night decision.  There was a lot to consider.  Your home, the children, your respective extended families or even the dog.

The Family Law Act states that you must be separated for a period of at least 12 months before filing for divorce.

Why so long?

You are ready to move on with your life.  Perhaps you have already fallen in love and want to remarry.

The main issue is the need to consider reconciliation.

Separation is often a result of a break down in communication.  Either you or your partner has stopped talking.  As a result, the two of you have drifted apart.  You have forgotten why it is you fell in love.  This negative spiral may happen quickly or over many years.  Out of frustration, you separate.

It’s important that you seek counseling.  A professional relationship councilor has the skill to get you both talking again.  After a few sessions, you may realise that the communication breakdown was just that and in fact you both want to try again.  That’s great news.

Sometimes it’s only a temporary fix and what drove you apart is still very real.  If you reconciled for 3 months or more, then the 12 month time period starts again.

Other circumstances also need to be considered.  Have you been married for less than two years?  Are you both still living under the same roof?  If this is the case, please come and talk to one of our families lawyers.  There are additional requirements that you must meet.

Filing for a divorce is a very serious and permanent decision.  Not one you should make lightly.  Once you are ready, we can help you to make the process manageable.

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