Family Law: Divorcing Shortly After Marriage

When most people get married, they do so intending to stay together for the rest of their lives. However, life doesn't always turn out the way you plan it. If you have decided to divorce your partner shortly after you have married, it is important that you keep the following advice in mind.

Make a note of the date of the separation

Under Australian law, a couple cannot divorce unless they have been separated for a year, so it is important to establish the exact date when you commence the separation. Doing so will allow you to complete the divorce as quickly as possible as there will be no dispute about the timeframe of your divorce. If you or your partner are not an Australian citizen, it is important to record the date on which you separated as this could have implications for your immigration status.

Establish who has contributed what to the marriage

If you have only been married for a very short amount of time, it's unlikely you will have both contributed a great deal towards the marriage. However, it is important to establish the exact amount provided by both parties towards things such as mortgages, household living expenses and any other large purchases. If a family court needs to make a decision about any payments or assets which are to be awarded to either party as a result of the divorce, it will need a clear picture of who contributed what to the partnership.

Organise lines of communication

Unfortunately, while everyone hopes for a divorce which is amicable, this isn't always the case. If one partner is involved in an affair, anger and resentment can make it difficult for both parties to communicate with each other. If this is the case, it is important that you take steps to organise clear lines of communication. Doing so may involve attending a mediation meeting or instructing your lawyers to transmit messages between you and your ex-partner. It is important to establish methods of communication, even if your divorce is amicable, as this can help the divorce to proceed smoothly.

If you are about to divorce after a very short period of marriage, you should contact a lawyer who specialises in family law as soon as possible. The lawyer will be able to establish your rights, explain the process to you, and answer any questions you may have before you go to court.