There are several legal separation laws in Australia that can affect you and your children. The law requires two conditions for legal separation. Firstly, the couple must be of sound mind and have capacity to enter into a civil partnership. In Australia, if a person is seeking to have a civil marriage arranged then he has to first show that he or she has sufficient mental ability to enter into a civil partnership. Once the person proves that he or she is mentally sound and able to marry, then he or she can apply for a civil union or get a legal separation agreement.
The second condition required under Australian law for the separation is that the couple must have determined a reasonable likelihood of them being separated from one another. In this regard, it is significant to point out that a separation period is much more flexible under Australian law than in the United States. For example, in the US a separation period can last up to a year after the date of the marriage. Under Australian law, a separation period may last as short as three months. In addition, during the entire term of the separation period both parties are entitled to their legal rights.
Apart from the legal conditions mentioned above, a couple may also reach a conclusion based on other factors such as age, wealth, financial needs, preferences and customs. Furthermore, even though a divorce decision is usually a private matter, both parties are required to respect the decision reached by each other. If the spouse wants a change in the family arrangement (spouse and children or property and children), the spouse must consult with an attorney who will help him or her understand his or her legal rights, obligations and responsibilities as well as the consequences of a divorce. In some instances, where the marriage has not been terminated through a divorce decree, the Family Law Act provides the basis for the termination of the marriage through the legal separation process.