Separation and divorce is never an easy decision to make. Not only can it have an emotional impact, the financial costs can also start to add up and become a burden. That said, filing for divorce can be a relatively stress-free and inexpensive process with the right legal support and plan.
Before filing for divorce, it’s important to consider how much it costs to get a divorce in Australia. In this article, we explore the various divorce application fees, as well as the different factors that contribute to the average costs of divorce in Australia.
Divorce fees in Australia
Let’s take a look at the individual family law court fees for divorce applications.
Application for Divorce
The filing fee for a divorce application which is paid to the Courts is $940. You are required to pay this fee at the time of application.
You may also be eligible for a reduced fee of $310 (as of October 2021) if you hold certain government concession cards or you can demonstrate financial hardship.
Joint application vs sole application
If you’re applying for divorce as a sole applicant, you will need to factor in the fees of a third party professional to organise the divorce application, in addition to postage fees to serve your former partner with the application for divorce.
If you’re the one being served with an application for divorce then you generally won’t have to pay any fees. However, if you want to oppose the divorce application or want to file a different order with the Courts, you will need to pay a fee to change the application.
Joint divorce applications on the other hand, if possible, allow you and your spouse to prepare and file a joint application for divorce together. A joint divorce application is quicker and much more cost-effective and means that neither you or your former partner need to attend the divorce hearing (unless there is a child under 18 years old).
Divorce lawyers fees
How much does a divorce lawyer cost in Australia? The average cost of divorce application in Australia varies and depends on whether it is a joint application or sole application or joint application but separated under one roof or sole application but separated under one roof. Therefore, the cost ranges between $1,930 to $3,440, which includes the fees paid to the Family Courts of Western Australia.
Affordable fixed fees for divorce
The final steps for your divorce application are fairly simple and straightforward. You can choose to submit a divorce application as a sole applicant and pay the fee directly, or you can engage the help of an experienced divorce lawyer.
Family lawyers offering fixed fees with payment plans for their services means there is enough buffer to cover the cost of any eventualities, such as serving your spouse with divorce documents, making this the most cost-effective option when filing for divorce.
Start with a free consultation
Not sure where to begin or what option is best for you? Starting with a free consultation, this is the perfect time to tell our family lawyer everything about your current situation and any concerns you may have. If we are able to assist you further, you will receive a detailed legal plan of what you’re entitled to, the possible outcomes, and what can be achieved.
What other factors to consider when filing for divorce
The divorce process can begin once you’ve been separated for 12 months. Separation does not require any formal process or paperwork, and in most cases, you and your spouse have agreed that your marriage is over.
It’s possible to separate and still live under one roof. However, it is recommended that you seek legal advice to ensure you’re fully informed of the legalities of separation but still under one roof, as it may impact the progress of your divorce.
When filing for divorce, the Family Court of Western Australia will consider the care arrangements that are in place. This is where an experienced family lawyer can help you understand what the Courts will be looking for and find acceptable when devising a parenting plan.
Having a parenting plan or parenting agreement in place before you file for divorce will ensure there are no issues or delays to your divorce application. However, there are exceptions and you should seek legal advice before filing for divorce.
Time limit for Property settlement or assets separation after dirvorce
Once a Divorce Order takes effect, property matters must be settled within 12 months. Although a divorce can be completed before settling your property, delays in negotiating increases the risk of breaching that time limit.
Seeking advice from a family lawyer first can help you understand what you’re entitled to, including assets such as businesses, shares, savings, superannuation, vehicles and property. A property settlement lawyer can also negotiate on your behalf and resolve disputes for you during mediation and make this whole process less stressful.
Spousal maintenance and child support
Often one partner will no longer be able to meet their living expenses on one income. If you’re incapable of supporting yourself financially you might be eligible for spousal maintenance, whereby your former partner will pay spousal maintenance for a period of time. If children are involved, one partner may also be entitled to receive child support payments from the other.