Divorce – Do i need my spouse’s consent?
An article appeared recently in the Daily Mail about an international case of divorce to protect assets: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3414394/Woman-59-sues-husband-90-20-years-secretly-divorced-months-wedding-protect-assets.html
In Australia, divorce without consent can occur. This however does not affect property settlement rights unless 12 months has passed since the date of the divorce.
Divorce without notice cannot occur in Australia, unless there has been fraud or an order for substituted service on the other spouse which fails to bring the proceedings to their attention. This also does not affect property settlement rights unless 12 months has passed.
If more than 12 months has passed, all is not lost. In some limited circumstances, the family law courts will give spouses permission to apply for a property settlement outside this time limit. This is particularly the case where there are still children of the marriage under the age of 18 in the care of the spouse seeking permission.
It is often advisable to at least commence property settlement proceedings before contemplating divorce as there is no guarantee of success of an application for permission to apply outside the time limit.
If your time limit is approaching, you should consider urgently obtaining legal advice and allow at least 7 days for the necessary application for property settlement to be prepared and filed before the expiration of your time limit.
The time limit does not apply to parenting proceedings as matters concerning children can always change as life changes.
For more information, contact us at Freedom Law, The Family Law Specialist.