It is an undeniable truth of life that some relationships don’t work out. You can fall out of love with a person just as easy as you fell in love with them. Once you make the decision to separate from your partner, the next step is divorce.
Divorce Law in Australia
Divorce in Australia is the irretrievable breakdown of a marriage (Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) s48).
Unlike the old days, you no longer need to prove one party was at fault to get a divorce in Australia. The law only requires that the parties to show they are separated and have lived separately for 12 months before filing a divorce application at the Family Circuit and Family Court of Australia (FCFCOA) (Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) s48).
Living separately does not mean you need to live in separate houses. Couples can be separated and still live under the same roof.
Undoubtedly, divorce is a big step, but like many things, there are both advantages and disadvantages of getting a divorce.
Advantages of Getting a Divorce
• After legally terminating your marriage, you have the freedom to do whatever that is you always wanted to. You have the control of your own life.
• It is your chance to start over on your own terms and focus on yourself. Sometimes, being in a relationship, we forget to put ourselves first. This is your chance to stop thinking like ‘we’ but focus on ‘me’.
• Focus on your career and rebuild your financials.
• It is a chance to escape the physical and mental abuse you may have been facing at the hands of your partner. This is not just applicable to women; men are also victims of family abuse.
• Regain your self-respect.
• Start a new relationship with someone who values and respects you.
• Your children will benefit from 2 happier households rather than living in 1 unhappy house. Yes, it will be difficult initially, but children are good at adapting to change.
Disadvantages of Getting a Divorce
• Your divorce doesn’t just affect you and your partner; your children are also impacted by your decision.
• There is a lot of social stigma around divorce. In some cultures, more than others. Women in some communities face isolation from their family and community.
• Divorces can be expensive, splitting property and assets can get messy if the parties are not in agreement or refuse to negotiate.
• Divorces are emotionally challenging for both parties.
If you have made the brave decision to get a divorce from your partner, don’t feel as though you are alone. A record 49,510 divorces were granted in Australia in 2020, that is an increase of 1.9% from 2019 (48,582) (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 24 November 2021, https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/people/people-and-communities/marriages-and-divorces-australia/latest-release#divorces).
Shame and guilt should not be the reasons why you continue to stay in a marriage. Speak to a friend, family member, or a professional for advice.
Going through a divorce does not have to be a traumatic experience.
At Cominos Family Lawyers, we support our clients to find strength and courage in these difficult times. We always have the best interests of our clients in mind.
The information provided here is general legal information. It is not legal advice. If you’d like advice specific to your situation, talk to one of our divorce lawyers.