If you find yourself in the difficult situation of having to end a long-term relationship, you need to understand your options and which legal process will apply to your situation.
- Separation. When a couple in a legitimate relationship, whether married or not, ceases living together, they may need a legal separation. Most separations of long-term but unmarried couples generally do not need legal intervention. However, when a relationship meets certain criteria (length, financial status, etc.) or the separation isn’t amicable, Australian laws are in effect to allow for legal arbitration.
- Divorce. When the legal marriage of a couple breaks down and the contract between spouses needs to be terminated, a divorce is necessary. It is considered the official ending of a contractual marriage. Although both parties need not agree to the separation, they do need to understand the basis for the divorce. In other words, both parties must acknowledge that the marriage is over based on a breakdown of the relationship. In addition, family courts do not generally recognise fault for who or what caused the breakdown.
- Annulment. An annulment, or the nullification of a marriage, is when the marriage is completely erased by the court. This means that the court recognises the marriage was illegal and therefore invalid. If reasons for an annulment can be proven, then the entire marriage will be declared null and void, as if it never happened.
The Help You Need to Understand the End of Your Relationship
Whether you’re separating, getting a divorce, or need to have your marriage annulled, we can help. Contact us today at (08) 9214 3887 to get the guidance and exemplary legal advice you need. It doesn’t matter if your separation was amicable or not, you need to think about protecting your rights and future. Allow us to clarify what your separation means and how to best go about securing your future. Call now or come see us at our Perth office to see how we can help you.