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Family Law Complaint

Difficulty with the hearing process

G'day,

I would appreciate any help or advice that you can give me as I recently tried to register a complaint to the Family Law court in relation to the handling of my divorce hearing but they seem to be fobbing me off.

This is what I sent to them with a few identifiers removed:
I wish to register a complaint on the handling of my Application for Divorce hearing.

I would like an explanation from the Registrar as to why he was more intent on trying to establish whether I was making a false declaration to the court rather than listening to the reasons why I was raising the issue surrounding why my wife had declared that she considered the marriage over at the date of separation when clearly I did not, and what were her obligations to communicate that situation to me were or explain to the court her rationale for making that statement.

I tried to explain to him that I understood the concept of a 'no fault' divorce system and that it worked well where both parties are happy to divorce but, in my case, where my wife made a unilateral decision to end the marriage, without warning, without discussion, without explanation and apparently without the prospect of mediation or reconciliation it makes life very difficult for the party who is left behind.

He was more interested in taking me to task for signing the document even though I was relying on information given to me, admittedly via my wife, that when she first attempted to file the documents with the court that she was advised by a court officer that questions would probably be raised about the differences in our answers to Question 15 a + b.

If I had known that nothing would be further from the truth, I would not have wasted my time by attending court.

I apologise for not getting divorced everyday, for not being fully conversant with court procedure and for not having the money to be able to afford representation but I suppose I expected a little compassion, guidance and/or empathy from the Registrar.

Yes, I did sign the documents but I can also find no reference anywhere in the divorce kit that explains that if you don't agree to an answer that you should not file a joint application and, even if it did, is it not possible for the court to understand that it is an emotional and difficult time and that sometimes we may not be able to dot all the I's and cross all the T's.

In my case, had the Registrar cared to listen, my marriage has been ended on the whim of my wife whose family has a history of depression and her own counsellor has indicated to me that a stress related condition (she used the term mirroring) brought on by work, study, life and financial pressures may be the answer as to why her decision making appears clouded.

There was no violence from my side nor was there any infidelity. We had been together for over 12 years and married for over 8 and the first I knew that there was any serious trouble in the relationship was when my wife told me she was not happy on a Thursday night and on the Saturday she was gone and has hardly spoken a word to me since and has been hiding behind the current system which apparently does not require anyone to give any reason as to why they want to end the marriage at all.

I was under the impression that the Registrar was required to establish that at least one of the applicants had considered the marriage over AND that it had been communicated to the other spouse.

In the Application for Divorce Kit issued by the Family Law Courts it states in the section headed Help completing the Application for Divorce that, in relation to Question 15 'At least one spouse must have regarded the marriage as over and in some way communicated this to the other spouse' it also states that 'You should be prepared to provide the court with information about what happened or what was said on the date of separation to show that one or both of you intended to end the marriage.

In light of the fact that I questioned her declaration during the proceedings I would like to know why the registrar did not ask my wife one question to establish that was the case. To me it seemed that he was more interested in procedural correctness and expediency instead of establishing the facts.
Please don't get me wrong as I did decide, on the 30th of August this year, after a year of trying to get my wife to explain her actions or act in a reasonable manner that not only was I wasting my time but that I also would not want her back even if she wanted too.

To me, the whole process of marriage has been turned into a sick joke.

When I took my vows I committed to 'for better or worse, in sickness and in health, for richer for poorer' or words to that effect and to find that those vows are worthless is very disappointing and today was the final insult to those vows.

It seems scandalous to me that if my wife behaved like this in just about any other area of law I would have claims for unfair dismissal, breach of contract, fraud, misrepresentation, obtaining goods by deception and more recently blackmail where she has threatened me with legal action if I have the audacity to try and get some answers.

All this comes from a woman who is allegedly so traumatised but is still happy to hand deliver mail to my apartment block and run the risk of bumping into me on more than one occasion since making the threat.

All of which is consistent with someone whose decision making is clouded.

It seems crazy to me that the person who is creating the havoc is totally protected under the law when those that are left devastated are afforded no protection or avenue to have questions answered whatsoever.

I hope I am not digressing too much but I would like to know if the Registrar had allowed access to that information whether his approach may have been different.

I don't want the decision to be reversed so I would appreciate any comments on what may be the consequences of pressing the issue.
You are going through a very emotional period in your life. Sadly, the registrar hears this same story day in, day out and it is not their role to offer concilliation. They're just there to process your paperwork.

You sound very upset. I believe that counselling will help you. My ex would not go with me to counselling when I suggested it in the dying days of my marriage, so I went on my own and it was very helpful.

It may be unfair that she didn't communicate her unhappiness directly to you. Perhaps she did, but in ways that you did not hear. If she has truly moved on with her life, this is something you must accept.

It's really sad that marriages can end so easily, but they do. In one way, consider it fortunate that you are freed of someone who takes such a commitment so lightly. It does not sound like there are children involved either - another thing to be thankful for.

My personal advice, to myself, my sons and friends is that: if you enter a long term relationship, sign a Binding Financial Agreement, so that money issues are readily resolved and there is less hurt and damage caused.

I understand your hurt at this marriage ending, but no-fault divorce is not always a terrible thing. I was emotionally and financially abused by my husband and would be forced to remain married to him if it were not for "no-fault". He never hit me and I lived a very luxurious life, but it was a life I lived for him, never "with" him as an equal.

In short, attacking the process will not help you.  I hope that you can channel your emotion into re-building who you are going to become, post-marriage.

Junior Executive of SRL-Resources

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on this site (Look for the Avatars). Be mindful what you post in public areas. 

Hi Frustrated

Best advice I can give you is drop the whole matter. You are wasting your time - the system does not really care about your feelings; it is called 'no fault divorce'.

I know it is easy for me to say, but please move on with your life. Look after your self.

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on the site (Look for the Avatars).   Be mindful what you post in the public areas. 
OK I am confused as I thought Divorce applications were heard in the Federal Magistrates Court. Like you bought something at Woolworth's and then complained to Coles about the service in the other store.

What are your real objections to the divorce, does she want to remarry?

Remember the state is separate from the Church so the Divorce will go through, as the other poster said Its No Fault Divorce

Marriage is one of the toughest of contracts and the easiest to break.
Frustrated said
…..I recently tried to register a complaint to the Family Law court in relation to the handling of my divorce hearing but they seem to be fobbing me off.
You need to be talking to the Federal Magistrates Court as they handle divorce applications en masse.
Frustrated said
…..I would like an explanation from the Registrar as to why he was more intent on trying to establish whether I was making a false declaration to the court rather than listening to the reasons why I was raising the issue surrounding why my wife had declared that she considered the marriage over at the date of separation when clearly I did not, and what were her obligations to communicate that situation to me were or explain to the court her rationale for making that statement.

I tried to explain to him that I understood the concept of a 'no fault' divorce system and that it worked well where both parties are happy to divorce but, in my case, where my wife made a unilateral decision to end the marriage, without warning, without discussion, without explanation and apparently without the prospect of mediation or reconciliation it makes life very difficult for the party who is left behind.
As hard as it is for you the divorce application and Federal Magistrates court has no interest in the issues behind the break up and seperation. The form says you should be ready to discuss the issues if asked but in general there is no requirement to even attend.

You need to move on and get a new life beyond the previous relationship. She is not coming back as she has finalised the divorce and now the court has ratified that document and the divorce obviously granted by the sound of things.
Frustrated said
…..
I apologise for not getting divorced everyday, for not being fully conversant with court procedure and for not having the money to be able to afford representation but I suppose I expected a little compassion, guidance and/or empathy from the Registrar.
Unfortunately the court has many applications every day. They see hundreds of applicants and partners every week. There is simply no time to look at every case and offer compasionate support. You are in the wrong place for support. The Federal Magistrate would have been interested in where the parties were resideing now, have children been taken care of througfh an arrrangment and is property settled.
Frustrated said
…..In my case, had the Registrar cared to listen, my marriage has been ended on the whim of my wife whose family has a history of depression and her own counsellor has indicated to me that a stress related condition (she used the term mirroring) brought on by work, study, life and financial pressures may be the answer as to why her decision making appears clouded.
Sorry but you are in the wrong place to tell this story to. The Federal Magistrates Court I mean. They are there to carry out the legislative enactments arround the legal part of granting the divorce application and that is all. They are likley to be interested if the parties are still living together and would delay the divorce in a that scenario and a number of similar circumstances.
Frustrated said
…..There was no violence from my side nor was there any infidelity. We had been together for over 12 years and married for over 8 and the first I knew that there was any serious trouble in the relationship was when my wife told me she was not happy on a Thursday night and on the Saturday she was gone and has hardly spoken a word to me since and has been hiding behind the current system which apparently does not require anyone to give any reason as to why they want to end the marriage at all.
Yes it is as easy as that. How we change it is another saga.
Frustrated said
…..To me it seemed that he was more interested in procedural correctness and expediency instead of establishing the facts.
Yes that is absolutely correct and is how the system works. It is a no fault divorce system. An easy contrcat to get out of and unwinding business and banking intracacies let alone sorting out children and superanuation is often a nightmare. You are very lucky you do not have an anatgonsitic and difficult partner and it sounds like things are fairly amiable. Sorry to hear your story but there are 65,000 others just like it per year. Our interest is primarily in childrens issues relating to contact. There are affiliate groups that are very interested in issues around Marriage and Separation and holding the sanctity of marriage paramount. Warick Marsh who heads the Fatherhood Foundation is one of those groups.

I do not have any real advice for you except to say be with friends at this time of year and let us know if there is someting we can assit with.  :|

Executive Secretary - Shared Parenting Council of Australia
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Thanks all for your responses and I hope that you all had a good Xmas and New Year.

Please don't worry about my state of mind as I am very happy with my new lady.

I am annoyed at the process and I really wanted to make sure that I was not missing anything.

What I have read has only confirmed my understanding of the shortcomings of the current system and it makes you wonder why we fund the current bunch of pompous boofheads when it would appear that backpackers could adequately process the paperwork.
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