A divorce has more than just emotional costs attached to it. There are financial costs that need to be considered when getting a divorce or separation. The aim of this article is to to detail the cost of a divorce in Australia.
There are various aspects related to a divorce and, the cost of a divorce is based on these different aspects. For example, filing a sole application will differ in costs as compared to filing a joint application. To understand cost of a divorce, it is also essential to know the steps to a divorce.
For these reasons there is no straightforward answer on what is the cost of a divorce. Rather, it depends on your specific circumstance, and you need to understand what costs apply to you, and gather an estimate based on that analysis.
Expenses Of A Divorce Application
The application fee which is paid to the Courts costs somewhere between 930 dollars to 940 dollars. In addition to this, there is a government filing fee that applies. This fee is also required to be paid at the time of the application.
As of October 2021, some people may be eligible to pay a reduced application fee of 310 dollars – if they meet any of the following requirements:
- They are receiving Legal Aid; or
- They are receiving youth allowance, Austudy, or ABSTUDY payments; or
- They are aged 18 or under; or
- They are considered to be living under severe financial hardship; or
- They hold a Department of Human Services healthcare card, pensioner concession, or a Department of Veteran’s Affairs; or
- They are a prison inmate, or they are legally detained in a public institution.
In case of applications by a joint party where they are seeking a reduction in costs, both the parties need to be eligible and fulfil the requirement. At the time of application, you must provide evidence of eligibility.
Cost Of A Divorce: Sole Application Versus Joint Application
As mentioned above, the cost of a divorce can also differ simply on the basis of whether the application being made is by a single party, or joint party.
This is because in case of sole applications, there are additional service fees that apply. Service fees include the cost of serving the divorce application to your former spouse.
The sole applicant cannot serve the application to their former spouse. This needs to be done either by a third party (a lawyer, or a professional divorce application service provider) or by posting the documents – both these methods have additional costs.
What If I Am Responding To A Divorce Application?
In cases where you have been served with the application, and you agree with the application, there will not be any additional fees.
However, if you do not agree with the application and instead wish to oppose the application or request the Court to make a different order – you will need to pay a change of application fee of 360 dollars.
Cost Of Mediation Or Arbitration In Divorce Cases
The concept of mediation is important under the topic of cost of a divorce as many a times the divorce is not amicable, with disputes often arising between the two parties.
In such cases, mediation services are used, wherein an an accredited mediator acts as an impartial, or neutral third party, who facilitates a discussion between the parties and assists them in reaching a peaceful agreement. Mediation can also be charged as part of your legal fees.
Other Factors That Add To Cost Of A Divorce
The application process is only the first step to a divorce. Overall, considering all things that follow a divorce, the costs can be a bit higher. For instance, once the divorce order has been finalised, there are important things like Child Support payments, and Spousal Support payments that need to be considered.
Following a divorce, one party may not be able to meet their expenses in which case the other party will need to pay spousal support payments until they can get back on their feet. This is called spousal maintenance in Australia.
The cost of spousal maintenance should also be added when estimating the cost of a divorce.
Similar to spousal support, child support payments are payable by one party to the other to assist with the financial aspects in relation to the care and welfare of any child/children from the marriage.
How Much Do Divorce Lawyers Charge?
When considering cost of a divorce, most importantly you need to know that different divorce lawyers charge different fees. Generally firms have different pricing structures.
In a fee per service pricing structure, clients pay for the service they receive. Divorce cases can get extremely complicated, and the fees will continue to add up as and when different services will be required.
Although this is an effective payment option, it does not help you plan out the costs, and when you enter into a legal contract, you will still be unclear on your total legal costs.
On the other hand, a fixed-fee pricing structure, like the one offered by JB Solicitors gives you a clear sense of the costs before you enter a legal contract with your lawyers.
At JB Solicitors, we offer fixed-fee pricing for all straightforward divorce cases. The best way to determine the legal cost of a divorce is to have a consultation with an experienced lawyers from our firm.
JB Solicitors’ Legal Assistance For Divorce Cases
Since divorce cases can get tricky and overwhelming, it is essential for you to have trustworthy lawyers who complete the legal procedures on your behalf.
At JB Solicitors, our expert team of family lawyers have a wealth of experience in dealing with complicated divorce cases, including high net worth divorce cases . When you approach our family lawyers, they make it a point to get you your desired results.
Our family law team tackles each case differently, and provides market-leading legal advice that is tailored to your specific situation. Our fixed-fees will help facilitate transparency in all legal procedures.
Contact our experienced and compassionate family law team and book a consultation.