Divorce: How to Prove Irretrievable Breakdown of Marriage
When considering divorce in Australia, take note that the only ground or reason that the court would accept is the irretrievable breakdown of your marriage. But what does this mean exactly and how could you show proof of it in court? According to the Family Law Act 1975, a marriage has irretrievably broken down if:
A.) Both spouses have lived apart and separately for at least 12 months continuously; and
B.) There’s no possibility that the spouses’ cohabitation would resume.
This 12-month period of separation starts the moment one of the spouses deems their marriage to be over and informs the other spouse about it.
What about separation while living in the same house?
The law doesn’t require that divorcing parties live separately since some couples might opt to live separately, but physically together, for their children or economic reasons. But when demonstrating separation with regard to divorce, the couple should demonstrate that one or both parties have ended the relationship and that they live independently of each other, explains one of the top divorce lawyers in Townsville.
In general, however, the divorcing couple must tell key individuals, relatives, friends, and neighbours that they won’t be partaking in typical marriage activities since the court would require proof from these individuals. These ‘marriage activities’ usually include sleeping together, eating, shopping, going out, or doing chores for each other.
What about short marriages?
If your marriage hasn’t reached the two-year mark and you’re planning to divorce, you could only be granted a divorce if you see a counsellor first about your issues. This counselling requirement might be waived under specific circumstances, such as if there’s proof of abuse or violence in the relationship.
What about resuming cohabitation?
If you and your spouse suddenly reconsidered and decided to live together again a married couple, you could do so without the 12-month period of separation resetting. But if you decide to separate again, the period of separation would resume. Take note though that if you and your spouse indulge in isolated sexual acts, this won’t break the separation period.
Getting a divorce is probably one of the most important and toughest decisions you’ll ever have to make in your entire life. That being said, it’s best that you seek help from an experienced divorce lawyer to know your options.