One of the first things most people worry about after deciding to end their marriage is whether or not they need to hire a solicitor or firm to handle the proceedings. The legalities around dissolving a marriage can be confusing in Australia, but everyone knows hiring divorce lawyers in Sydney can be expensive. So do you really need one?
It’s actually a more complex question then you would expect and depends on your particular circumstances.
If you live in Australia’s biggest city here are a few things to consider before hiring a divorce lawyer in Sydney.
First thing’s first, you need to make sure you have your ducks in a row legally. Before you can legally dissolve a marriage in Australia, you must have been separated for at least a year. If you’ve been separated but living under the same roof, then you need to provide proof by signing an affidavit.
If you have been married for less then 24 months, then it is mandatory to attend couples counselling sessions before the marriage can be dissolved.
You can begin to make arrangements for the dissolution of your marriage as soon as you decide, but proceedings cannot be finalized until you reach the 12 month mark for your separation.
The courts take marriage breakdowns seriously, so it’s important to ensure you satisfy the basic requirements.
Can you do this on your own?
It is possible to file for the dissolution of your marriage in NSW without needing to hire a divorce lawyer in Sydney. There are resources and check lists online that lay out the application requirements.
Legal aid in NSW even runs workshops to help spouses to fill out the application correctly. This can potentially save a lot of time and money, however it is important to consider where you and your spouse are at and what your needs are, as doing it yourself might not be the best choice.
If you are in a position where you can agree on most major things (such as how to split assets, custody arrangements and money) then filing together is by far the most straightforward option.
The ending of a marriage however often stokes a lot of raw emotion and the reality is that a lot of spouses will find they need a third party mediator to help them to come to an agreeable settlement.
Why you might need to hire a solicitor
Unless your break up is fairly amicable and uncomplicated by children or multiple assets then you’re probably going to need a professional touch. Managing the processes around filing, managing courts, division of assets and custody arrangements can be complicated.
Having a knowledgeable and experienced divorce lawyer in Sydney who can sit down with you and talk you through the process can make a big difference. Break up’s can be traumatic and stressful, having someone handle the proceedings without emotion can remove a lot of the complication and hurt involved.
This can be especially important if you are in a situation where there has been a total breakdown in communication, such as in cases of abuse. If you have a fear of violence or there are complications around settling with your ex-partner, then a solicitor might be a necessary choice.
If you’re considering hiring a divorce lawyer in Sydney, but aren’t sure if you need one then it’s important to honestly evaluate your position. There are many factors involved in dissolving a marriage, so it’s important to know whether you can resolve and settle matters on your own or if a divorce lawyer in Sydney should be brought in to assist.