Experienced and Trusted Divorce Lawyer
Lance Jackson is one of the Hills District's leading family lawyers, applying his wide experience in divorce to help his clients. As a legal expert with more than 20 years of experience, he advises and represents clients in separation, divorce, child custody, property settlement and other aspects of family law.
Lance is committed to helping clients achieve a fair and just resolution for their separation and divorce. He combines his expert knowledge with common sense and empathy to help you achieve the best possible outcome.
With an extensive background in family law, Lance is well-placed to assist you. Whether you need to apply for a divorce, get your marriage annulled or respond to a divorce order, having experienced divorce lawyers like Lance on your side can make a huge difference to your success.
As a small family law firm, we treat our clients as individuals and respect the difficulties of each situation. We provide honest family law advice for married couples, those in de facto relationships or even those looking to enter a new relationship. See what some of our clients have to say:
Marriage Annulment, Separation or Divorce
A couple is said to have separated once they stop living together in a domestic-like relationship even if they choose to continue to live in the same house. Either party or both can initiate separation.
A divorce is the legal termination of a marriage by a court judgement that leaves both spouses free to marry again. Under Australian law, a couple must be separated for 12 months before applying for divorce.
A legal marriage annulment is when a family court finds that a marriage is null and void, declaring it was never valid and never technically existed.
If you´re looking to end your marriage, and you're unsure of the process or how to get the best outcome for yourself, contact Arcadian Legal.
Criteria for a Divorce in Australia
Under the no-fault divorce system set out in the Family Law Act 1975, the main grounds for divorce in Australia are if the marriage has broken down irretrievably. To apply for a divorce, you must satisfy the following criteria:
Proof of Marriage Over 2 Years
If you have been married for less than two years, you may be required to attend marriage counselling to discuss the possibility of a reconciliation.
Proof of Australian Residence or Citizenship
You or your spouse must have Australian citizenship or be a resident living in Australia and regard the country as your home.
Separate for 12 Months
You must have been separated and not living as a married couple with your former partner for at least 12 months.
No Likelihood of Reconciliation
The court has to be satisfied that your marriage has broken down irretrievably with no chance of you getting back together.
Property Settlements and Spousal Maintenance Applications
If you cannot reach an agreement with your former spouse, you may have to apply to the court to settle property and spouse maintenance matters.
De facto Couples
If you are in a de facto relationship, we can help you file a property or spousal maintenance application within two years of the de facto relationship ending. Once the time limit has elapsed, you will need the court´s permission to file your application. As an experienced divorce lawyer, we can advise you of the actions you need to take to help you get a fair resolution.
Married same-sex or heterosexual couples can apply for a property settlement or spousal maintenance any time before divorce. Once the divorce is final, you must file an application within 12 months. The family court can extend this timeline, but only if there is a good reason. At Arcadian Legal, we will explain the process in detail to help you start your new life with financial security.
Child Custody and Support Payments
When a marriage ends, both spouses are left to make decisions about child custody and ongoing financial support. This can be a contentious and emotionally charged process. We´ll leverage our knowledge and expertise to reach a favourable arrangement that safeguards the welfare of your children and protects your parental rights.
Making the right decisions for your children cannot be left to chance. You need someone on your side who can fight for your rights and understands the law in great detail.
At Arcadian Legal, we have helped other parents with their child custody and support needs. Let us help you too!
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I get custody of the children or do we share it?
The law's main concern is that children's best interests are served by being protected from harm and having a meaningful relationship with both parents. Therefore, a family court will encourage parents to share responsibility for their children equally after separation, except in circumstances of domestic violence, alcohol abuse and mental illness.
What is the process of filing for divorce?
You need to file a sole or joint application for divorce with The Federal Circuit Court. Once filed, you will receive a date for the court hearing where the Registrar of the Court will consider whether or not to grant the divorce. It is important to note the Registrar will not consider other aspects like parenting arrangements, spouse support and custody.
Is the law different for de facto couples splitting up?
The law is similar for married couples, and people in de facto relationships regarding decisions about child support, provided the child is a child of both parties. The laws regarding spousal maintenance and the division of property are also generally the same. You must apply to the Family Court for any property and maintenance issues within two years after the relationship ends. However, applications related to children can be made at any point.
What if I was married overseas but want to divorce in Australia?
Yes, you can divorce in Australia even if you had your marriage ceremony performed overseas provided you meet certain conditions. You either have to be an Australian citizen by birth or descent, a permanent resident or regard Australia as your permanent home and intend to live here indefinitely. You´ll need a copy of your overseas marriage certificate.
Does a divorce include parenting and property arrangements?
A divorce is a formal recognition that a marriage has ended. It doesn't determine issues such as property division or arrangements for children. However, if you have children under 18 years, a court will only grant a divorce if children's issues are taken care of and proper arrangements have been made for their welfare.
Can I get divorced without a lawyer?
Some people don´t use a divorce lawyer if the divorce is reasonably straightforward. However, a divorce only ends the marriage; it doesn´t include arrangements for children, finances or property. Therefore, it´s best to hire experienced family lawyers to handle the legal aspects of your case to ensure no major problems down the road.
Can the divorce be opposed by the other party?
There are only a handful of circumstances where a spouse can oppose a divorce application, such as a contested date of separation. Disputes over property and parenting arrangements or the other party wanting to get back together are not sufficient grounds for opposing a divorce.
What if I cannot find my spouse to serve them with a divorce application?
If you can´t locate their whereabouts, you must prove to the court you´ve tried your best to notify them. The court may offer you a substitution service where the relevant documents are served to another person who can bring them to your spouse's attention.