How to Start Separation Process in Australia: A 7-Step Helpful Guide

how to start separation process in australia | Dandenong Family Lawyers

How to Start Separation Process in Australia

If you’re considering how to initiate a separation in Australia, the first step is to confirm that separation is the appropriate decision for you and your partner.

The process officially begins when you or your partner decide to separate and notify the other party of this decision.

Establishing the date of separation is crucial, as it impacts future divorce proceedings and the division of assets.

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Start Separation Process in Australia

  1. Make the Decision: Confirm that both parties agree that separation is the right course of action, or at least one party has decided to separate.
  2. Notify Your Partner: If your partner is not already aware, officially inform them of the separation. Documenting this date is important as it marks the start of the 12 months required before filing for divorce.
  3. Seek Legal Advice: Consult with a family law expert to understand your rights and obligations during the separation and to receive guidance on the following steps.
  4. Arrange Finances: Begin separating your financial affairs, including bank accounts and liabilities. Decide how you will handle shared assets and responsibilities during the separation period.
  5. Address Child Custody: If children are involved, discuss and arrange custody and support. Prioritise agreements that serve the children’s best interests and seek legal or mediation services if an agreement cannot be reached.
  6. Document Everything: Keep detailed records of all agreements, financial transactions, and arrangements made during the separation. This documentation can be crucial for resolving disputes and finalising the divorce.
  7. File for Divorce: After being separated for at least 12 months, consider whether to file for divorce. This process legally formalises the end of the marriage and can be done jointly or individually.

Key Takeaway 🔑: Following these structured steps can help manage the emotional and administrative stress often associated with separation.

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Understanding Legal Separation

A legal separation involves formalising the division of assets and debts and arranging child custody, if applicable.

Australians are not required to file any documents to be legally separated, but legal advice or a court order may be necessary to resolve disputes or formalise arrangements.

Key Takeaway 🔑: Legal separation in Australia doesn’t require formal documentation, but obtaining legal advice is advised to protect your rights and ensure fair asset distribution.

Financial Arrangements

During separation, it’s important to address financial arrangements, including the separation of finances such as bank accounts and liabilities, and decisions regarding the management of joint assets like the family home

It is advisable to create a detailed list of all shared and individual assets and debts.

Child Custody and Support

If children are involved, determining their living arrangements and support is paramount. It’s important to focus on the well-being of the children and come to an agreement that serves their best interests.

Legal advice can be essential if an agreement cannot be reached amicably.

Filing for Divorce

While separation itself doesn’t require legal documentation, filing for divorce does. In Australia, you must be separated for at least 12 months before filing.

The application is submitted to the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia and can be made jointly or by one party.

Seeking Legal Advice: How to Start Separation Process in Australia

It is advisable to seek legal advice during the separation process. A lawyer can help you understand your legal rights and responsibilities, guiding you through the complexities of asset division, child custody, and the divorce process, ensuring a smoother and more informed transition.



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