It’s difficult to let go of a relationship that has been a huge part of your life. Not only can divorce be incredibly stressful mentally and emotionally, but also financially. This article is here to help you if you are preparing to separate from your spouse and want to know How much does a separation cost in Australia? How much does a lawyer cost? Or How much does it cost to file for divorce in Australia?
What is the process for a divorce?
How to get a divorce? Most Australians don’t actually know what the process is for a divorce until they are already preparing to divorce their spouse. The following steps will help you understand what to do first when separating from a spouse.
Step 1: Choose a divorce application form.
There are two kinds to choose from, joint application and sole application. Joint application means you and your partner are separating amicably and you become joint applicants on the one form. Sole applications means you are applying for divorce by yourself. This is where legal help and advice can really benefit you in a generally difficult and overwhelming time.
For a sole or joint application you do not have to go to court if your kids are over the age of 18.
Step 2: Seek legal advice from a separation lawyer
Any Australian filing for divorce can benefit from seeking advice from a separation lawyer, also known as a separation solicitor.
Just because you will be working with a separation lawyer does not mean you need to go to Family Court. However, if you and your partner can’t agree on how you want to split your finances, you can seek a court order from the family court. The Family Court will make a fair decision on your behalf and ensure that the splitting of your finances is equitable for both you and your partner. Seeking a court order to split finances in a divorce does mean you will be required to attend court.
The Family Court considers you and your partner’s current situation, such as your age, health, income earning capacity, whether you share joint or sole custody of your children, as well as any existing financial commitments and responsibilities. Before any final decision is made the Family Court makes an evaluation to ensure it is fair and equitable for both parties.
How much does it cost to file for divorce in Australia?
A divorce application fee is $940. Your divorce filing fee is paid to the Courts at the time of application. If you hold certain government concession cards, or can demonstrate financial hardship, you may be eligible for a reduced fee of $310.
What are the costs involved with divorce?
What are the costs involved in a separation? Other divorce fees you need to factor in when separating from your spouse, are divorce lawyer fees.
How much is a lawyer?
How much does a lawyer cost? The cost for divorce lawyers vary greatly. Generally, the more complex the divorce, the higher the divorce fees. It will also be dependent on many factors, including whether you are filing a joint application or sole application. This cost will also include necessary fees such as your divorce application fee and the fees paid to the lawyer.
You can choose to submit a divorce application as a sole applicant and pay the fee directly, or you can engage the expertise of a separation solicitor. Some divorce lawyers offer fixed fees with payment plans for their services.
How can you prepare for filing for divorce?
When understanding the cost of divorce in Australia, it doesn’t just include divorce application fees and divorce lawyer fees. It’s also helpful to look at the assets and liabilities you will be dividing up. These can include:
- Business interests
- Inheritance assets
- Stamp duty
Equally dividing up joint savings accounts alone can be a headache in a divorce, let alone every asset and liability you own as a couple. If you would like to know how to successfully split joint savings accounts we recommend next reading “How are bank accounts split in a divorce in Australia?”
There are many financial factors involved when separating from a spouse. Often, each party has a different idea of fairness when it comes to dividing up assets and liabilities. If you are already feeling stressed about the divorce process, it may be time to contact an experienced separation lawyer to help make the process easier.
Hiring a Divorce lawyer
Hopefully this article has eased some of the stress involved with preparing for a divorce from your spouse. If you would like to learn more about the financial consequences of divorce, we have created a separation checklist to help you gain financial confidence.
Savannah Legal offers a free 1 hour consultation and we take the time to understand your situation, concerns and needs, before providing you with a legal plan outlining your options. Our goal is to give you affordable legal advice while lifting a burden off your shoulders. Book your free consultation today.