Divorce Kit (Australia)
Organising your own divorce might not be as complicated as you think.
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Getting divorced is often a trying process, but it doesn't need to be overly complicated or costly.
A divorce kit will equip you with the essential information that you need to manage your own uncontested divorce – a divorce where both parties agree on the terms and conditions of the separation.
Let's take a look at who can use a divorce kit, and what you might find in one.
What is a divorce kit?
A divorce kit is a set of information and advice that explains how to go about organising a DIY-divorce. It can be helpful in the initial stages of divorce when you're choosing whether or not to seek legal help.
A divorce kit will also guide you through the whole process step-by-step if you choose not to enlist the help of a legal professional.
Who can use a divorce kit?
You can use a divorce kit if you're looking for more information on how to organise your own divorce. A divorce kit is particularly useful for those with an uncontested divorce, as this type of divorce is less likely to require legal help. An uncontested divorce is when both parties involved agree to the terms and conditions of the divorce and there are no children under the age of 18 involved.
What does a divorce kit include?
There are a couple of different divorce kits available. These are:
- An Application for Divorce kit will guide you through the typical process of applying for a divorce.
- A Divorce Service Kit will explain how to serve the documents to your spouse in the event of a sole application.
What does an Application for Divorce Kit usually include?
An Application for Divorce Kit will typically include the following:
- Glossary of legal terms
- A step-by-step guide to applying for a divorce
- Information about who can apply and when
- Fees and costs surrounding the application
- Filing the application online vs in person
- How to fill out the application form
- Instructions on how to serve your documents
- What happens at a court hearing
- Relevant forms and documents
What does a divorce service kit include?
You can expect a divorce service kit to include the following:
- Glossary of legal terms
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about serving legal documents
- A step-by-step guide to serving the documents to your spouse
- Service by hand vs service by post
How much does a divorce kit cost?
There are a number of online divorce services available that will provide a divorce kit for a one-time fee. The advantage of using these online services is that many offer personalised services and over-the-phone assistance. Prices start from around $180 depending on the complexity of your case.
Alternatively, you can get both an Application for Divorce kit and a divorce service kit for free from the government's Family Court of Australia website.
What steps do I need to take to organise a DIY divorce?
Whether you choose to file for a divorce yourself or use a lawyer the steps in the process are very similar. The only difference in a DIY divorce is that you'll be filing all of the paperwork yourself. You won't need to pay any extra legal fees.
1. Complete an Application for Divorce
The first step in any divorce process is to complete an Application for Divorce, either by yourself or with your partner. There are several ways to do this:
- Submit an online divorce application yourself via the Commonwealth Courts Portal
- Hire a private lawyer who will complete the paperwork for you
- Use an online divorce service which usually charges a fixed-fee
2. Sign your papers in front of a witness
Once you or your lawyer has completed the forms, you'll need to sign them in front of an accredited witness. Authorised personnel differ from state and territory - a Justice of the Peace is usually the norm.
3. File your divorce with the court
Whether you choose to send the application online or in person, you'll need to file a number of documents with the Application for Divorce:
- Marriage certificate
- The original application for divorce
- Supporting documents
4. Serve your documents
Once the court has processed your documents, they will send a sealed copy of the application to both applicants. If you've submitted a sole application you'll need to serve the document to your spouse. This means you'll need to deliver a copy of the application to your spouse.
5. Arranging and attending the court hearing
If you've submitted a sole application and there are children under the age of 18 involved, you'll need to attend a court hearing. You'll be allocated a court hearing date a couple of months after you have filed your divorce to the court.
If all of your papers are in order at the court hearing, then the court will create a divorce order. This will become official one month and one day after you appear in court.
Filing your own divorce application can be quite a fairly straightforward process, especially with the help of a divorce kit that will take you through the process step-by-step. Investing in a divorce kit could save you the time and money that may have been spent hiring a legal professional. This can help to bring some peace of mind during a difficult time.
Where can I access free legal documents and templates online?
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