The Average Cost of Divorce in Australia, Explained

18th November 2021

Going through a divorce in Australia can be one of the most stressful things you'll do in life. There are so many things you have to consider before you even get to court. 

What's going to happen with child custody? Are you ready to emotionally move on from your marriage? What are your plans for after everything is settled? There are many emotional elements to consider, but the financial side of divorce can be what causes the most problems.

Have you ever wondered what the average cost of divorce is for people in Australia? Money is incredibly important during a divorce, and you want to make sure you have the right expectations around cost.

If you want to know the cost of divorce in Australia, you've come to the right place. We're going to help you understand what to expect cost-wise and what you can do to protect your assets. 

The True Average Cost of Divorce 

If you're looking for a straight answer to the question 'how much does it cost to get divorced in Australia', you may be a little disappointed. We can show you some set costs for court fees, but the overall cost of divorce varies significantly from person to person. 

Divorce fees went through a slight increase in July 2020. The cost for an application for divorce went from $910 to $930. Even people that are eligible for a reduced fee still have to pay $310. 

Those numbers, unfortunately, just scratch the surface. The daily hearing fee is now $890. These fees can also vary depending on whether your case is being heard in the Family Court or Federal Circuit Court of Australia. 

The true cost of divorce is going to depend on your joint assets, any individual assets you may have set aside, individual salaries, and pre-nuptial agreements.  There are also factors to consider, like child support and alimony, that add to the overall cost of the divorce. 

In truth, Money Matters magazine estimates that couples can expect to spend anywhere from $50,000-$100,000 when everything is said and done. 

The cost of divorce in Australia

Why Is Divorce So Expensive?

Were you shocked after you read that number? Many people know that divorces can cost a good deal of money, but they're surprised when they realise how much they can end up having to spend. 

Divorce is an expensive process because of the way the entire system is set up. Court fees can eat up a lot of money, and unless you and your ex-spouse have everything figured out before you head to court, you can expect multiple visits to the courthouse. 

The emotional side of divorce doesn't help things either. Trying to find a way to amicably separate from someone you have a lot of complicated feelings for can be difficult. Some people may find it next to impossible to be subjective and reasonable about their divorce and could want to extend the fight just to be vindictive. 

You and your spouse may choose to end things amicably and could have a solid plan for separation, but you'll still have to handle court fees and divide up your assets. In the end, nobody comes out of divorce completely financially unaffected. 

How to Save on Divorce Costs

Are you feeling a little nervous after diving into the financial side of divorce? Don't worry, divorce may cost a lot of money, but there are things you can do to protect your finances. Getting an excellent lawyer should go without saying, but we want to reiterate that point before we focus on anything else. 

You need to have your best interests represented and fought for during your divorce. You may be ending things on relatively good terms and may even have some verbal agreements with your soon-to-be ex-spouse. None of that changes your need for stellar legal representation.  Do your best to find a lawyer to help you through everything. 

If you want to protect your finances during the divorce process, make sure you do these important things.

Try to Settle on Possessions 

If you want to save money on your divorce, the last thing you want is to pay each lawyer hundreds of dollars to argue over a couch that's worth $400. People are attached to their possessions, and it isn't uncommon for divorce hearings to get held up by bickering over furniture, cars, or other things. 

Things may be difficult with your spouse now, but you should try to come to an agreement on the best way to divide up your assets. Coming to the table with a proposed way to divide everything will make the process a lot easier and faster. 

Do you feel like you're in a place where you'd rather not speak with your ex-spouse? Make a list of the items that matter to you and see what you want to fight for. 

Get Organised 

Do you have access to the last few years of your tax returns? Can you find copies of your payslips? Do you have bank statements that can prove you're the one making payments on the car or mortgage? 

The divorce process isn't handled through lengthy talks in court. Paperwork and records end up winning divorce cases, and that's why you need to have everything in order before you start the ligation process. 

Make copies of your most important paperwork so you can send them to the appropriate people. Having virtual scans of documents can make it easy to keep track of everything. 

Adjust Your Expectations 

One of the best things a lawyer can do for you throughout the divorce process is to make sure you have realistic expectations about what's going to happen. Sometimes people are surprised about how expensive divorce is because they had very different expectations about what would happen. 

It's unrealistic to expect a spouse that hasn't worked for over a decade to not want alimony. You may have been the one to make investments and grow your portfolio, but your spouse still has a right to some of those assets. 

If you're feeling nervous or unsure of something, be sure to ask your lawyer. They'll be able to tell you what to expect and can give you a realistic image of what you should be aiming for. 

Get Expert Help

The average cost of divorce is nothing to overlook in Australia. Divorce can be a costly process, and you need to do what you can to protect your assets and prepare for your new life. 

It's time to get the legal help you'll need to see you through your divorce safe and sound. Reach out to us so we can start talking about the best way to help your divorce case. 

Please note the contents of this post is information only and not legal advice. 
If you require legal advice it is best to contact one of our lawyers who can review your particular circumstances and then provide tailored advice according to your needs.

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