HOW MUCH DOES A DIVORCE COST IN AUSTRALIA?
It’s a simple question, with a reasonably simple answer. How much does a divorce cost in Australia?
Firstly, and for anyone new to the separation process, you need to know that your divorce is a separate process to your Financial Settlement/Separation. Here is an explanation of both.
Financial Settlement (also referred to as Property Settlement) is the division of couple’s combined Net Assets (Net Assets are Total Assets such as real estate, cards less liabilities such as mortgages, loans, credit card debts).
Divorce is an order by a court that officially ends a marriage. Financial/property settlement, parenting orders and child support are not part of the divorce application.
This means that your Financial Settlement is the more complex and costlier of the two matters. Divorce, in most cases, is straight-forward. Here is everything you need to know regarding divorce fees in Australia.
HOW MUCH DOES DIVORCE COST IN AUSTRALIA?
When you get divorced you are required to pay a divorce filing fee. As at the 1 July 2020, the cost of a divorce in Australia is $930, however you may be eligible for a reduced fee of $310 if you hold a concession card or if by paying the full fee it will result in financial hardship.
AM I ENTITLED TO APPLY FOR A REDUCED DIVORCE FEE?
To apply for the reduced divorce fee you will need to fit into one of the below criteria:
You hold any of the following cards issued by the Department of Human Services: health care card, pensioner concession card, Commonwealth seniors health card or any other card issued by the Department of Human Services or the Department of Veterans’ Affairs that certifies your entitlement to Commonwealth health concessions, or
You have been granted Legal Aid, or
You are receiving youth allowance, Austudy or ABSTUDY payments, orYou are aged 18 or under or an inmate of a prison or otherwise legally detained in a public institution.
WHAT IF NONE OF THE ABOVE APPLY TO ME, BUT I CAN’T AFFORD IT?
If none of the points above are applicable to you but by paying the full divorce fee it would cause you financial hardship, you may still be eligible for the reduced fee. You can take a three-part test (as part of your divorce application or via the link further on in this article) to assess whether the fee should be reduced. The test will assess your:
- Day-to-day living expenses
- Liabilities and assets
If you meet the requirements of each of the three parts of the test a reduction in your divorce fee will be granted.
HOW DO I APPLY FOR A REDUCTION OF DIVORCE FEE?
To apply for a reduction of divorce fee, complete one of the below online forms and provide supporting evidence of eligibility.
If you are applying for a reduction of divorce fee for one of the general reasons listed above i.e. as a concession card holder, complete this form:
Of you are applying for a reduction of divorce fees because of financial hardship, complete this form:
I MEET THE REQUIREMENTS FOR A REDUCTION OF DIVORCE FEE, BUT MY EX DOESN’T
If you are applying for your divorce together and you meet the requirements for a reduced divorce fee but your ex-partner does not, then the full fee for the divorce is applicable. All applicants must meet the requirements.
IS IT CHEAPER TO DO A SOLE DIVORCE OR A JOINT DIVORCE?
Whether you do a sole divorce or a joint divorce, the cost of the divorce is the same. As noted above, all applicants must meet the requirements for a reduced divorce fee, therefore applying as a sole applicant may be cheaper if only one of you meets the requirements. However, the process to apply for a sole divorce is different and necessitates the serving of papers from one of you to the other.
WHAT DOES A FEE REDUCTION COVER?
The fee reduction applies only to the divorce filing fee. It does not cover court fees or any other services related to your divorce application.
HOW MUCH DOES A DIVORCE COST IN AUSTRALIA? (CONT.)
DOES GST APPLY TO COURT FEES?
No, GST does not apply to divorce fees.
WHEN DO I NEED PAY FOR MY DIVORCE?
Payment for a divorce is required at the time of application.
HOW CAN I PAY FOR MY DIVORCE?
Payment can be made with your online application via the Commonwealth Courts Portal using a Visa or Mastercard credit/debit card.
GET STARTED WITH YOUR DIVORCE APPLICATION
We have answered your question: How much does a divorce cost. Now you may be ready to apply. The easiest way to apply for a divorce is online via the Commonwealth Courts Portal. Register and start your divorce application here.
This article covers everything you need to know about ‘How much does a divorce cost’. If you have more questions about your divorce, read this article which covers all other areas of applying for a divorce: How to get a divorce in Australia.