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Finding a way through the darkness

When I found out my husband had been cheating on me, I felt like the ground had opened up beneath my feet. Suddenly it felt like anything I had believed in was unsure. After some reflection I realised that I had been blind about how badly our marriage had been going, and I can't live in that lie anymore. The only way through the darkness is to leave the lies and cheating behind and start over in my life, committed to honesty in all my relationships. This blog is all about my journey through separation and divorce into my new honest life.


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Finding a way through the darkness

Critical Roles of a Family Lawyer in Declaration of Nullity Cases

by Walter Porter

According to Australian laws, a couple separated for at least 12 months can apply for divorce through a family court or the Federal Circuit Court for Divorce. However, in some instances, separated couples choose to apply for a declaration of nullity, not divorce. A statement of nullity refers to a finding by a family court that the marriage between two people is null and void and therefore illegal. When applying for nullity, one must seek the services of a family lawyer primarily because it is not as straightforward as a divorce process. This article highlights what a family lawyer does during the declaration of nullity cases.

Establish Grounds

You cannot just wake up one day and decide that you want a court to consider your marriage null and void. The Australian family law dictates that couples must have sufficient and valid grounds for seeking a declaration of nullity. Since a layperson might not know the grounds, a family lawyer's services are necessary. For instance, it is difficult to prove that consent for marriage was obtained under duress or fraud if you represent yourself. However, a family lawyer can gather compelling evidence to prove your claim and convince a family court to nullify the marriage. Most importantly, the grounds for seeking nullity are specific, and a family lawyer ensures that an application meets the threshold.

Apply for Decree of Nullity in a Family Court

As mentioned earlier, applying for a decree of nullity is not as straightforward as a divorce process. Notably, it is a complex process that only a family lawyer can guide you through. For instance, you cannot apply for nullity if you have not taken genuine steps to resolve the conflict based on the Family Law Rules 2021. During the application process, a lawyer ensures you attach an affidavit stating the grounds for the nullity application and the details of the marriage ceremony. The best part about working with a family lawyer during an application is that they understand the circumstances when an applicant is eligible for reduced filing fees, which goes a long way in keeping legal costs low.

Respond to Initiating Application

An initiating application is the first step towards obtaining a declaration for nullity. Therefore, when you receive an initiating application from your spouse, you are required to file a response opposing the request for nullity. A lawyer's input is crucial when responding to an initiating application because a family court has no time to read the fluff in your response. For instance, a family lawyer understands the rules of writing a response to an initiating application. They also advise clients not to speak ill of the other party when responding and instead include solid evidence disputing the request for nullity. Therefore, a detailed response prepared by a family lawyer stands a better chance in a family court.