The Firm takes instructions from married couples who wish to make an application for Divorce.
An Application for Divorce can be made after the parties have separated for a period of not less than one year. Under certain circumstances the period of one year can take into account the time that the parties spent after separation but living independently “under the one roof”. Legal advice can be provided to an applicant for divorce to determine whether the statutory period of one year (in aggregate) has arisen to enable an application to be filed.
The Family Law Act 1975 permits joint applications for divorce to be made.
Most divorce applications are filed in this district in the Townsville Registry of the Federal Magistrates Court but returnable at the Mackay sittings. The Federal Magistrates Court visits Mackay on circuit very regularly throughout the year.
When providing initial instructions for a divorce it is necessary for a certified Certificate of Marriage to be obtained from the Registry at the place where the marriage was solemnised. In most cases in Australia an application can be made by the applicant to the registrar of Births Marriages and Deaths in the State or Territory in which the marriage was solemnised. The original certificate of marriage can also be filed.
From the time of taking instructions it usually takes approximately three months for a Decree to issue.
Where there are children of the couple under the age of eighteen, it is necessary for the personal attendance of at least one of the married partners at the divorce hearing. If there are no children or no children under the age of eighteen years then it is not necessary for either party to physically attend court.
Mr John Ryan, Mrs Sarah Smith and Miss Eilidh McCallum are the practitioners in the firm who handle these matters.