Divorce Cost: 8-Point Comprehensive Guide

divorce cost | Dandenong Family Lawyers

Divorce Cost

As of September 2023, the standard cost for filing an application for divorce in Australia is $1,060, as set by the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia. This fee is subject to change in the future.

A reduced fee of $350 is available for applicants who meet specific criteria.

What is a Divorce Filing Fee?

A divorce filing fee is a mandatory charge required by the court when initiating a divorce. This fee is separate from additional expenses such as:

  • Application for Consent Orders: As of July 2023, the fee for filing consent orders, which often involve agreements on property settlement or parenting arrangements, is $195
  • Initiating Application: Fees for initiating applications that pertain to parenting and/or financial orders vary between $410 and $810, depending on the complexity and specifics of the case.
  • Mediatior fees: The cost for engaging a mediator to facilitate discussions between parties can be around $2,500 per person. This fee can vary based on the mediator’s experience and the case’s requirements.
  • Legal Representation Fees: Hourly rates for solicitors generally range from $350 to $650. Barristers, who provide specialised courtroom representation, may charge daily rates between $1,500 and $6,000. Some legal practitioners may also offer their services for a fixed fee.

Eligibility for a reduced fee is often available across various legal proceedings.

How Much is Divorce Online?

Filing for divorce online in Australia involves a standard fee of approximately $1,060, consistent with the in-person filing fee. It’s important to regularly check the Court’s website for updated fees.

Applicants facing financial hardship may qualify for a reduced fee of $350 if they provide evidence of their financial status, including income, assets, and liabilities.

Additional costs of an online divorce might include legal consultations, service of papers, and other administrative expenses. Online filing, however, typically offers a more economical alternative due to its efficiency.

Do I Split the Costs with My Ex-Partner?

The divorce filing fee is usually paid by the person initiating the divorce. Costs for services like mediation may be shared between the parties.

It is important to discuss and agree on the allocation of these costs with your ex-partner and legal advisors to avoid misunderstandings.

How to Pay for Divorce Filing Fee

Payment options for the divorce filing fee include online transactions via the Commonwealth Courts Portal, EFTPOS, and credit or debit cards. Those without a bank card can use a pre-paid debit card, available at various retail outlets.

Exemption of Fees in Family Law Matters

Individuals with a government concession card or those demonstrating financial hardship may qualify for a reduced fee or even a full exemption. This eligibility may extend to those receiving Legal Aid or government benefits such as youth allowance or Austudy.

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How to Plan Financially for Divorce

  • Paying Outright: If funds are readily available, paying in full is the simplest method, avoiding loans or extended payment plans. Ensure this method is financially manageable, as divorce can incur additional unexpected expenses.
  • Personal Loans: Suitable for those without immediate funds but confident in their ability to repay. Familiarise yourself with the terms to understand the full cost, including potential fees.
  • Legal Fee Loans: These are specialised loans designed to cover legal fees in family law cases and usually defer payments until after a property settlement is received.

Divorce Costs for Pensioners

Pensioners may qualify for reduced or exempted fees depending on their financial situation. Demonstrating financial hardship could allow pensioners to access the reduced divorce filing fee of $350.

It’s also worth exploring whether additional concessions or assistance programs are available specifically for seniors, which could further decrease the costs associated with divorce proceedings.

Pensioners can manage their divorce expenses by planning carefully and exploring all available options without compromising their financial security during their retirement years.

Seek Legal Advice

Navigating the financial aspects of divorce, especially when considering the various fees and potential reductions, can be complex.

It’s essential to seek legal advice to ensure you are fully aware of your rights and options. A qualified lawyer can provide invaluable guidance tailored to your specific circumstances, helping you make informed decisions and potentially reducing the financial burden of the process.

Investing in expert legal advice early on can save you from costly mistakes and unnecessary stress during your divorce proceedings.



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