Separating and getting a divorce can be an incredibly stressful experience. Dealing with the breakdown of a marriage is often simpler with the help of a family lawyer Brisbane. Professional legal representation ensures the process goes smoothly and that you and your spouse can reach an agreement you’re both happy with. The only sticking point is the cost. In this article we’ll talk about the cost of a divorce proceeding in Australia and how you can manage the expense.
Application for Divorce
The only compulsory costs when getting divorced in Australia are the family court fees. To get divorced, you’ll need to pay a one off fee of $990. You may be eligible for a reduced fee of $330 if you hold certain concession cards or if you can prove financial hardship.
It’s important to note that while these fees are the only compulsory cost, divorce proceedings often attract other expenses such as property valuations and document handling fees. You should each expect to pay about $2,000 in fees when processing your divorce.
How Much Does it Cost of a Divorce in Australia?
Hiring a divorce lawyer is the simplest way to resolve your matter. When things get complex, a lawyer will make sure you’re aware of your rights and represent you in any negotiations. Depending on where you live, you can expect to pay about $400 per hour for a divorce lawyer. Of course, the hourly rate is only part of the picture. Depending on how complex your divorce is, you’ll need to pay between $2,000 and $5,000 to have a lawyer finalise an amicable divorce. Divorces where there are disagreements or disputes between you and your partner can cost significantly more, as your lawyer will need to do more work and the Court may need to get involved. As a rule of thumb, you’d expect to pay about $5,000 to settle any disputes over children or property, and if your divorce goes to trial then it’s likely to cost an additional $5,000 per day.
The best way to minimise the cost of divorce proceedings is to work out a deal privately with your partner and have a lawyer review the agreement before signing.
Do I Need a Divorce Lawyer?
Australia has no legal requirements to hire a divorce lawyer. You’re allowed to handle the process yourself, including lodging your divorce application and deciding how you want to manage shared property. Despite this, many couples choose to be represented by lawyers during divorce proceedings.
Divorces can get very complicated. Especially if you and your spouse share children, property or businesses that need to be divided, a lawyer can make the whole process much simpler. Engaging a divorce lawyer ensures that the process is completed properly and that any agreement you reach is fair, equitable and legally binding. Even in situations where you and your partner are on good terms, it’s worth having a lawyer look over any agreements you develop. Their advice could save you from signing an agreement that puts you at a disadvantage in the long term.
How to Handle Your Divorce
Hiring a family lawyer Brisbane wide isn’t the only way to handle your divorce. There are four main ways you can handle the issue:
- Reach an agreement on your own – The cheapest and easiest way to get divorced is to negotiate your own settlement with your partner. If you and your spouse are on good terms, and if you trust each other to be honest about finances, this is the best option. Once you’ve drafted an agreement you should consult a divorce lawyer and make sure everything looks okay before signing.
- Hire legal representation – Reaching an equitable agreement isn’t always easy. If you and your spouse can’t agree, it’s time to hire a divorce lawyer. Your lawyer will take care of filing any forms, negotiating on your behalf and drawing up an agreement.
- Talk to a mediator – Divorce proceedings aren’t limited to lawyers. If you need a bit of help dividing your property (especially if you have a complex estate with children and businesses that need to be shared), a professional mediator can help you settle things. Hiring a mediator is likely to be cheaper than independent legal representation, but the costs may climb if you and your spouse can’t reach an agreement.
4. Take the matter to court – Going to court to settle a divorce should always be a last resort. Asking a judge to intervene can cost you tens of thousands of dollars each, and this should only be done in situations where there is a power imbalance or a history of abuse in the marriage.