Increase in divorce fees

By December 7, 2017Blog
 Despite the rejection by the Senate of the significant filing fees proposed in the 2015 Federal Budget, there have been some more modest fees announced. New fees were introduced on 13 July 2015. They include a $355 increase to the full divorce fee in the Federal Circuit Court and a $5 increase to the full divorce fee in the Family Court. There has been no change to the reduced divorce fees in both courts. Unfortunately some people decide not to divorce due to the fees associated with same (these fees go to the Courts not to lawyers preparing the applications). However it is important to remember that not divorcing can have ramifications if there is no binding property settlement completed after separation, there remains open a case for a spousal maintenance claim after separation, or one party dies without a new will.

I have had a recent case where a client and his ex-wife were never divorced and had been separated for many years. They both acquired assets and had new partners after separation. The fact that they did not divorce meant that there remained an option for both of them to seek orders for property settlement and spousal maintenance despite the long period of separation, simply as they did not want to pay the money to get divorced or to settle their property.

If you know of anyone contemplating a separation, please advise them to at least speak to a specialist family lawyer about their options. At Lakey Family Law and Mediation, we offer our first complimentary appointment to discuss their matter and what they need to consider when separating. Seeking advice at the start can save a lot of heartache and financial distress down the track.