Another couple headed for splitsville... not as easy as it looks!
Celebrity relationships, marriages and divorces are splashed across the news on what seems like a daily basis. It is almost no longer surprising (for those that care!) at the news of each new relationship, marriage and sadly, separation in the celebrity world.
Only in the last few weeks we’ve heard that Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones are headed for divorce, Miley and Liam have called off the marriage and Liz Hurley and Warne have put an end to their relationship. Michael Douglas has since fronted the media to clarify that he and Catherine are not planning to divorce, they are simply having a 'temporary separation' (Sydney Morning Herald, 4 September 2013 http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/celebrity/marriage-crisis-its-just-a-separation-says-michael-douglas-20130904-2t41e.html). However, filing for a divorce is not as simple as the celebrities make it look. And factors such as temporary separations make a difference to how things will play out. So IF Michael and Catherine do get back together, what impact would this have on their future divorce?
How long must you be separated to apply for divorce?
To apply for divorce, husband and wife must have been separated for at least 12 months prior to the date of filing the divorce application. Where husband and wife have separated for over 12 months, but have remained living under the one roof for part or all of their separation, the Court may still grant a divorce provided the parties or either of them can prove they have been separated for at least 12 months.
If husband and wife were to separate, reconcile within 3 months, but separate again, they or either of them can apply for divorce 15 months after the initial separation, as the twelve month separation can be treated as a continuous period of separation despite the brief reconciliation.
An order for divorce can also be reversed if husband and wife reconcile within one month of the divorce being granted.
If you need advice on applying for divorce or have questions regarding your separation please contact our experienced family lawyers on (02) 9635 6422.