Divorce Statistics for 2012 - The Australian Bureau of Statistics


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Divorce Statistics for 2012 - The Australian Bureau of Statistics

The Australian Bureau of Statistics released in April 2012, its data on Australian Social Trends, which revealed some pretty interesting facts on marriage, children born outside of marriage, separation and divorce, including comparisons with other countries.

The greatest change has been seen in children born outside of registered marriage.  In 1990, 22% of births were outside registered marriage, compared to 34% in 2010.

In assessing other trends over the past 20 years, everything has remained fairly steady, however the rate of people getting married has reduced, when they are getting married, they are older, have lived together prior to marriage and are choosing non-religious ceremonies.

Whilst the statistics reveal that Spring is the most common time of year for people to get married, from personal experience as a family lawyer, the period following Christmas and New Year is normally a busy time for enquiries regarding separation and divorce.  Although more people got divorced in 2010 compared to 1990, the rate of divorce has actually reduced.

Whether it was the two (2) week break over Christmas and having to spend that time with your spouse which brought about the realisation that the relationship or marriage was over, or that the separation was being put off until after Christmas for the benefit of the kids, it is common that the first several weeks of each calendar year, our firm is flooded with new enquiries.

If you have recently separated or are considering separating, there a couple of practical things which can make the process a little easier from a legal point of view, including:-

  1. Attending family counselling – Before making the decision to end a marriage or de facto relationship, you may benefit from taking some therapeutic counselling with your spouse.  It may be that there are no prospects of continuing the relationship, however the process may be used to discuss and reach agreement with respect to how to practically deal with the issues which arise from a breakdown in your relationship, including parenting arrangements, child support, spousal support and property settlement.
  2. Attend upon a legal practitioner who specialises in family law – the stress of a breakdown in your relationship can be exacerbated by not taking specialist advice.  Even prior to making a decision to separate, much time, money and stress can be saved by apprising yourself of your rights and entitlements arising from the breakdown in your relationship.
  3. Inform yourself – Take the time to inform yourself of the financial circumstances of your marriage or de facto relationship prior to proceeding with any separation.  There can be significant costs and delay in having to obtain documents and records such as bank statements, tax returns, financial statements, etc which are often kept within the family home.  Prior to separating, you should take copies of any such documents, which may become vital in later property settlement negotiations/proceedings.
  4. Stay put – There is no legal obligation for one party to vacate the family home upon separation.  Often it is an economic reality that upon spouses deciding to end a relationship, they must remain under the same roof whilst working out financial settlement.  A spouse who relocates from the family home often places themselves at a significant disadvantage tactically and economically.  Of course, your safety must always take preference.
  5. Social Media – Resist any temptation you may have to bad mouth or denigrate the other spouse on any social media sites.  A moment’s satisfaction may cause you considerable grief and whilst it is commonsense, it is surprising how many fall foul as a result.
  6. Don’t wait too long – there are strict time limitations which apply in matrimonial and de facto proceedings with respect to property settlement and spousal maintenance claims.  If you fail to commence legal proceedings within those time limitations, you are barred from making any such claim unless with leave of the Court.

Contact Evans & Company Family Lawyers for a FREE 10 minute telephone consultation. Not sure you need a lawyer? Have an urgent question? Just want to speak with a solicitor before you make an appointment? Call us to see if we can help you. Call (07) 5574 1888.

Dean Evans & Luke Brandon

Queensland Law Society Accredited Specialists in Family Law