In Australia, divorce rates are very high with there being almost 2 divorces per 1000 people in the population – according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). Because such a high percentage of people are likely to get divorced in Australia, knowing how much does divorce cost is essential.
This article aims to answer the question of how much does divorce cost. The article gives an overview of the expenses involved in divorce processes. Notably, the question of how much does divorce cost is related only to the legal costs attached with getting a divorce. Additional costs such as spousal maintenance (alimony), child support, and division of assets are not included when we talk about how much does divorce cost.
The process of getting a divorce can be slightly lengthy because of the various legal steps which you need to take. However, once you’ve understood all the steps to take, it is a straightforward process. This article will look at how much does divorce cost by analysing the steps involved to get a divorce in Australia.
Primary Steps To Get A Divorce: Sole Application Vs Joint Application
How much does divorce cost will firstly depend upon whether you are making a sole application or a joint application. In a sole application, one party initiates the divorce proceedings and will need legal guidance to do so. The sole applicant will need to pay a fee to legal professionals, and additional fees to serve the application to their partner.
In this case, the partner who is being served with an application for divorce will not need to pay any fees. However, if they wish to oppose the application for divorce, they will need to pay the fees to change the application.
On the other hand, a joint application includes both partners preparing the application and filing for a divorce together. Through a joint application, one party is required to complete the application and provide a copy to the other party for their review.
How Much Does Divorce Cost?
Based on the kind of application you’re making – sole or joint – the overall costs may vary. This section will give you an idea of the costs associated with the different legal steps which need to be taken.
1. Initial application fees:
Depending on the kinds of orders you are seeking, the initial application fee can cost somewhere between $360 – $715. While some parties may seek final orders, others might seek interim orders from the court. The charges vary depending on this.
2. Divorce application fees:
At the time of application, an application fee of $930 will need to be paid. Apart from this, a government filing fee will also be applicable.
Some parties may be eligible to pay a reduced application fee of $310 in some situations. Parties may be eligible for this reduced fee in case:
- They are receiving Legal Aid;
- They are aged 18 or under;
- They are considered to be living under financial hardship and duress;
- They are receiving some kind of youth allowance such as AUSTUDY or other payments;
- They hold a pensioner concession card; Department of Health Services healthcare card or other cards which may allow them to receive a concession such as Department of Veteran’s Affairs card
3. Service fees:
As mentioned above, the fees may differ for sole applications and joint applications. If a party has made a sole application, they will need to pay additional fees to serve this application to their partner.
This will either be done by posting the application to them (will include postage fees) or through a third party who may charge separate fees.
4. Responding to divorce application fees:
In case of sole applications where you have been served with a divorce application, you will not be required to pay any fees. However, if you wish to change the application, you will need to pay around $360 to ask the court to make different orders, or to amend the existing divorce application.
How Much Does Divorce Cost: Other Legal Fees
The previous sections have covered the cost of divorce for all primary steps. However, because of how lengthy divorce proceedings can get, and because of the various issues which follow a divorce, such as property settlement, or child custody matters, people often seek the support of family lawyers.
Depending on different firms and lawyers, the fees charged for divorce applications may vary. Essentially, law firms and lawyers may offer fixed-fee prices, service-based fees, and no-win no-fees.
The “no-win no-fees” price structure is not very relevant for divorce and family law. This fee structure is used for litigation and commercial law cases. For family law cases involving simple divorce filing, a fixed-fee pricing is desirable as each party will know the legal costs involved before they proceed with their application.
For more complicated proceedings such as for property settlement, child custody disputes etc, service-based fees would be better. In every case, the first step to take is to book a consultation with your family lawyers.
Legal Advice From JB Solicitors
This article has given you an idea about how much does divorce cost. However, when you proceed with all the legal steps, it is important for you to seek legal advice from professionals. Family lawyers at JB Solicitors deal with divorce cases on a regular basis.
They have experience in handling both simple and complicated divorce matters. Our family law team can provide expert advice on all matters related to a divorce or de facto separation.
As discussed in the previous section, the fees that lawyers charge may vary. At JB Solicitors, we’ve made it easy for you to understand our fees. For simple divorce applications, we offer fixed-fee prices. In situations where your matter will involve other legal procedures, we offer service-based fees as well.
At JBS, we value transparency. This is why at the outset of your matter, we will discuss all costs thoroughly. We will also give you cost agreements.
Importantly, having initial consultations with family lawyers is necessary so that you have a clear idea of both the legal proceedings, and the costs involved.
Contact us today for all enquiries or to book a consultation with our friendly lawyers.