Family Lawyers Mackay
74 Victoria St Mackay QLD 4740
Mon-Fri: 8.30am to 5pm

Family Lawyers Mackay Blog

Home/Family Lawyers Mackay Blog
Discover more
how much does it cost to get a divorce in Australia
26 Sep 2023

How Much does getting a divorce in Australia cost: A Step-by-Step Guide?

By Family Lawyers Mackay, 26 Sep 2023
Divorce & Separation

Differing from the portrayals seen in movies and television, the process of obtaining a divorce is, in reality, quite straightforward and cost-effective.

In theory, it parallels most other legal procedures: you acquire the requisite paperwork, accurately complete it, submit your application, and pay the stipulated filing fee. Nevertheless, practicality often introduces nuances beyond mere submission of forms. In this article, we will delve into the myriad expenses contributing to the overall cost of divorce in Australia.

how much does it cost to get a divorce in Australia?

Let’s commence by dissecting the divorce application into its constituent expenses.

Application Initiation Fee:

As the applicant, you will incur an initiation fee. This cost typically ranges from $360 to $715, contingent upon whether you seek a final order, an interim order, or a financial or parenting order.

Divorce Application:

The divorce application itself currently carries a fee of $930, in addition to the government filing fee. This fee must be remitted at the time of application.

You may qualify for a reduced application fee of $310 if you meet any of the following criteria:

  • Demonstrated financial hardship
  • Possession of a Department of Human Services healthcare card, pensioner concession card, or a Department of Veteran’s Affairs card granting similar concessions
  • Receipt of Legal Aid
  • Receipt of youth allowance, Austudy, or ABSTUDY payments
  • Age below 18
  • Incarceration or legal detention in a public institution

When applying, you must substantiate your eligibility to benefit from the reduced fee. It is essential to note that when filing a joint application, both parties must meet the eligibility criteria for the reduced fee; otherwise, the full fee will apply.


By consulting one of our accredited family law mackay specialists.

Service Fees:

If you are filing for divorce as a sole applicant, you must arrange for the service of divorce papers to your spouse. Since you cannot serve the papers personally, you may opt to engage a third party or send the documents via post. Consequently, postage expenses should be factored into your overall costs.

Choosing to utilize the services of a professional divorce application service provider will entail additional fees. Therefore, it is advisable to conduct thorough research if you are considering this option.

Response to the party initiating:

If you are the respondent to a divorce application and you consent to it, you typically will not incur any fees. However, should you contest the divorce application or request the Court to issue a different order, a fee of $360 is applicable to modify the application.

Other Fees Impacting Divorce Costs

How much does a divorce lawyer cost in Australia?

Complex divorce cases may necessitate the involvement of qualified family lawyers. Although there is no fixed fee for such services, a general guideline is that more complex cases with extensive legal input tend to incur higher expenses.

There are three prevalent legal fee structures you may encounter when engaging a divorce lawyer:

  • No win, no fee: This structure is primarily reserved for civil litigation matters, such as contractual disputes or personal injury cases, and is rarely applied in family law proceedings.How much does a divorce lawyer cost in Australia
  • Fixed price: Fixed price fees are best suited for situations with foreseeable outcomes and known financial disbursements, such as conveyancing, probate, and wills. Family law cases are typically neither procedural nor straightforward, and the outcome often remains uncertain. Therefore, if your family lawyer quotes a fixed fee, it is indicative of a significant buffer to account for all potential contingencies, possibly making it less cost-effective.
  • Fee-for-service: As the name suggests, this model entails paying exclusively for the services rendered. Family lawyers often charge by the hour or in blocks of six-minute increments or units. This approach ensures that you pay only for the services you receive.

At Family Lawyers Mackay, we operate on a fee-for-service model. Your family lawyer will provide an estimate of the expected duration of the proceedings at the commencement of your agreement and issue interim invoices at regular intervals during the case. This transparency ensures that you are consistently informed about your expenses.

Mediation Fees:

In situations where divorcing parties have parted on less-than-amicable terms, the involvement of a professional mediator may be warranted. The mediator acts as a neutral facilitator, assisting both parties in reaching a fair resolution.

Mediation is a specialized legal service, and its costs may be incorporated into your overall legal fees. Please reach out to Family Lawyers Mackay, Lawyers to explore our offerings for specialized mediation support.


By consulting one of our accredited family law mackay specialists.

Asset separation:

divorce entails the division of assets. Thus, it is prudent to budget for a formal property settlement that equitably divides assets, including properties, businesses, shares, savings, vehicles, and superannuation entitlements.

Spousal Maintenance:

Divorce often results in a significant income shift, potentially leaving one spouse unable to cover living expenses on a single income. In such instances, the disadvantaged spouse may be eligible for spousal maintenance payments from the other party.

Child Support:

If you share custody of children under 18, the parent assuming the primary childcare responsibilities may be entitled to receive child support payments from the other parent.

To determine child support, the eligible parent must initiate an application with the Child Support Agency. This agency calculates support payments based on the parties’ adjusted income and percentage of care. Once established, the payment agreement is legally binding, with the other parent obligated to fulfil their child support obligations as mandated by the Court.

Other resources:

For further resources to address the query of the cost of divorce in Australia, consider visiting the Federal Circuit Court of Australia or the Family Court of Australia for a comprehensive breakdown of fees.

How we can help:

How We Can Assist As evident, divorce need not necessarily translate to exorbitant expenses. Nevertheless, in cases characterized by complexity, enlisting the expertise of professionals becomes pivotal.

Family Lawyers Mackay specializes in all matters pertaining to Family Law, including effective cost-management strategies. If you require guidance on your family law matter, do not hesitate to reach out to us at (07) 4847 0198 and schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced family lawyers.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: Can I get a divorce in Australia without a lawyer?

A: Yes, it’s possible to represent yourself in court, but legal advice is recommended, especially for complex cases.

Q: What if I can’t afford a lawyer?

A: If you’re unable to afford legal representation, you may be eligible for legal aid or pro bono services.

Q: How long does the divorce process take?

A: The duration varies, but it typically takes around 4-6 months for an uncontested divorce and longer for contested cases.

Q: Are there any hidden costs in divorce?

A: While we’ve covered the primary costs, unexpected expenses can arise, so it’s wise to budget for contingencies.

Q: Can I change my lawyer if I’m not satisfied?

A: Yes, you can change lawyers if you’re not satisfied, but it’s important to consider the timing and potential costs involved.

Q: How can I protect my financial interests during a divorce?

A: Consult a lawyer and consider a prenuptial agreement if you want to protect your assets in the event of a divorce.

Get in touch today!

We take pride in customer service and look forward to handling your matter.