The divorce rate has decreased as the number of cohabiting couples has increased. Previous generations felt like they had to get married before living together, but nowadays, many couples see marriage as a nice thing that’s purely optional. But people are still getting married, and that means divorce is always going to be with us. The alternative is too unpleasant to consider, after all. If your marriage is on the rocks in Australia, you may hesitate to pull the trigger on divorce. It’s likely you feel overwhelmed and don’t even know where to start. You need a realistic idea of what the process will look like. Here are some common divorce myths you shouldn’t believe.
Divorce happens quickly
At least in Australia, the word “quick” is a relative term when it comes to divorce. First of all, you or your spouse can’t decide to get a divorce on Tuesday, then go file the paperwork on Wednesday. You need to be separated for at least 12 months first. That may seem like a long time, but the government wants to be sure that you two really are sick of each other and won’t get back together in the middle of the process. If you think that’s overkill, you’re far from the only one, but that’s the way the law is written right now.
However, being separated doesn’t necessarily mean living in different houses. That may sound contradictory, but you can file paperwork declaring that you are separated but living under one roof. You’ll need to prove that you’re working to disentangle your private lives, even if you’re living together for the moment. For instance, a couple that says they’ve broken up but continue to sleep in the same room will have a harder time proving they’re truly separated. But if you and your estranged spouse can truthfully say, “She’s moved into the guest room” or “He sleeps on the couch while he’s looking for a new job,” then you’re more likely to be successful.
If you’ve been married for less than two years, then things get even more complicated. In that situation, you’ll either need to see a counselor or have a compelling reason for why a counselor wouldn’t do any good. Abuse is one possible exception to this rule. But if you know that counseling won’t help, it may be better to just separate until the marriage reaches the two-year point. It’s not ideal, but it might be the least bad option.
You don’t need a solicitor
Technically speaking, you can file divorce paperwork on your own. But when you do that, you’re taking a risk. There are a few simple divorces that can be taken care of without involving solicitors. If you were married three years without any kids, you might be able to pull this off.
But if you have four kids and a fifteen-year-marriage to unravel, then you really need to contact family law solicitors in Brisbane. A family law solicitor can provide experienced, dispassionate advice about the best way forward for you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse. Divorce is not an easy thing, obviously. Experienced solicitors know that, and they can work with you in a way that limits the amount of personal stress you have to deal with as the process unfolds. Divorce is traumatic, but a qualified solicitor can limit the trauma and ensure you’re able to start life over with minimal financial and emotional damage.
Some people fear calling solicitors because they don’t want to air all their problems out. But talking about your divorce with a solicitor is much better than venting your frustrations on social media. There are times when you need professional help. For many people, divorce is one of those occasions, and you shouldn’t feel ashamed about reaching out.