Divorce Proceedings

Cooperation can help reduce Legal Costs

Every divorce case is different and unique. Competent family lawyers can help resolve problems related to divorce proceedings. Some cases are easily settled while others take time and tend to become acrimonious. As a general rule of thumb, cooperation and collaboration play a crucial role in reducing legal costs and minimising valuable time spent haggling over funds, monies and property. The more time spent in court, the higher are the costs that both parties are likely to incur. Divorcing spouses must consider costs involved for filing various motions in Family Court, paying for mediation services as well for other legal services.

Unfortunately, many divorcing couples have a tendency to make decisions or communicate in a way that is driven by emotion and ego rather than calm rationale and logic. This sort of approach not only results in increased costs, stress and worry but also has an adverse effect on children (if any).  Divorce can be an emotionally, legally and financially challenging experience and it’s a good idea to work towards resolution rather than litigation. Read on for a few important facts regrading the process of divorce in Australia:

  • Divorces are now considered as ‘no fault’ in that the Family Court is no longer concerned with personal differences and so on. The court perceives a divorce application as a mutual decision to end the marriage and separate legally.
  • In most cases, once the couple (or one partner) decides to apply for a divorce, one partner will usually move out into his or her own accommodation. In certain cases, this may not be a feasible option for financial reasons etc. In such cases, the partners must lead separate lives even if they live under one roof. The Family Court may ask for a legal affidavit signed by a family friend or the partners to the effect (an affidavit is a document or oath that can be used as evidence in court).
  • In the event that you and your partner have been married for a period less than one year, you are legally obliged to attend counselling sessions. This is intended to ensure that the couple has tried to reconcile and discuss their differences before opting for divorce. The counsellor will then issue what is known as a ‘counselling certificate’.

Divorce is a difficult and traumatic time for anyone. However, the process can be expedited and made less stressful for all parties by adopting a synergetic approach. Collaboration and cooperation between parties can reduce legal costs, minimise the time to obtain the divorce and establish a positive environment for discussion of mutual benefits. Amicable interaction, consistent communication and a conscious decision to avoid acrimony can help significantly reduce costs and lead to a less expensive divorce.