- 109,000 marriages were registered in Australia in 2005. This represents 5.4 marriages for every thousand people in the Australian population. This was a decrease from 7.2 in 1986.
- Over the same period, the divorce rate remained steady at around 2.5 divorces for every thousand people.
- Australians are marrying later. The median age for the first marriage for men has increased from 25.6 years in 1986 to 30 years in 2005, and from 23.5 to 28 for women.
- The proportion of Australians who are married has decreased. In 1986, 60% of the population aged over 15 years were married, compared to 55% in 2001.
- Based on these rates of marriage, 31% of males and 26% of women will never marry.
- The number of people in de facto relationships has almost doubled. 4.3% of the population over 15 were in de facto relationships in 1991, compared to 7.7% in 2006.
- In 2006, the median duration of marriages (without separation) was 8.9 years.
- In 2006, 40% of applicants for divorce were female and 29.5% were male. The balance were joint applications.
- In 2006, 50.1% of divorce applications involved children under 18 years (being a decrease from 59.7% in 1986).
The above information was extracted from a newsletter published by Shepherds The Family Law Specialists.
Decisions to be made if separating
Separation is emotional and difficult for all concerned. It's often hard to know whether the decisions you make now will be right for the long term.
It's not made any easier if you're not sure where you stand legally.
- Do I need a written agreement with my spouse about dividing assets?
- Is maintenance payable?
And what about the children? Where will they live? Who will be responsible for their welfare? What contact will they have with parents and extended family? Who pays child support? These are vital issues for the months ahead.
Find out more: Atkinson Vinden Lawyers
Information on Parenting Plans: North Shore Family Mediation
Double Mediation Ordered for Divorce by Geesche Jacobsen (smh.com.au May 24, 2012)
"DIVORCING couples will be asked to undergo further mediation before having their case heard in court, under a new initiative expected to cut delays in the family court.
The move, for cases not resolved at earlier, compulsory conciliation, is to be trialled for about 110 NSW couples whose property disputes are listed for hearing later this year.
Letters notifying the parties are due to be sent out on Friday.
The trial, which excludes cases where violence has been alleged, is an initiative of the Law Society and Bar Association with the Family Court and Federal Magistrates Court.
If successful, it could be extended to simple custody disputes, a spokeswoman for the Family Law Courts said.
Parties would be "invited to participate", but if they do not, they would have to explain in court why mediation was not appropriate, she said.
The Law Society president, Justin Dowd, said cases not settled earlier might be resolved at such a late stage because the "emotional energy" surrounding them had diminished.
The trial of a second conciliation, conducted by a mediator experienced in family matters, could cost couples about $2000 each. But Mr Dowd said this was a small cost compared with about $7000 to $10,000 each, a day, for a hearing.
"This is ... to try and assist to do something positive to deal with delays in the Family Court and Federal Magistrates Court in Sydney."
At the moment, parties had to wait about two years to have their cases heard, he said.
The Family Court Justice Garry Watts said: "The courts want to explore all avenues of possible resolution, particularly without the emotional strain and costs associated with having a fully defended trial."
Barry Williams, a spokesman for the Lone Fathers Association, said the group welcomed a move to more compulsory mediation because it saved court costs.
Elsbeth McInnes, from the National Council of Single Mothers and their Children, said mediation should be voluntary, not compulsory. "The point of mediation is that both parties want to reach an agreement and that they enter into mediation voluntarily with that goal in mind."
Read more: Double Mediation Ordered for Divorce
Source: Atkinson Vinden Lawyers, Family Law in LawTalk G3-12.