How much does a Divorce Cost

What is the cost to get a Divorce in Australia?

What will a Divorce Cost me?

How much money will getting a Divorce cost? Can I do my Application for Divorce any cheaper?

These are some of the most common questions asked about obtaining a Divorce in Australia.

Divorce in this information sheet refers to the dissolution of your marriage, property settlement, spousal maintenance, parenting arrangements and child support are all completely separate issues.

If you have a lawyer arrange your divorce for you, your lawyer will charge you a fee (their ‘professional costs’ and outlays/disbursements which are their ‘out of pocket expenses paid to third parties, such as the court filing fee, process server fee etc).

Since engaging a lawyer to act for you means they will charge you their ‘professional costs’ for the time involved in doing the work, this will make your divorce more expensive. Different lawyers will charge different amounts for their services and so you should always obtain a quote before you give instructions to proceed. Most law firms should be able to give a quote (or a minimum and maximum cost range) for doing your divorce for you.

You should obtain your own quote and not rely on the quote given to a friend or family member, as quotes can vary depending on your personal circumstances and how much work will be involved.

You can make doing your divorce cheaper by doing your Application for Divorce yourself. You can read more detailed information about how to do this, what the fees are and eligibility for the reduced fee, in our separate information sheet which gives a list of steps to do your divorce and which also gives you all the links you need to the free Family Court Divorce Do It Yourself Kits, including where to do your Divorce all online.

Court Filing Fee for Divorce

Even if you prepare your Divorce Application yourself, there is still an application fee payable to the Court.



You might be eligible for a reduced court application fee. You might be entitled to a reduced fee if you hold certain government concession cards, or if you can demonstrate financial hardship. You should note though, if your Application for Divorce is a joint one, then both of you as Joint Applicants must meet all of the requirements for an exemption/reduced fee, or the full fee will still apply.

If only one of you holds a government issue concession card or can demonstrate financial hardship, then that person will have to apply for a Divorce as a sole applicant to get the reduced fee and if you want to apply jointly, then the full fee will apply.

The Divorce Application fee is payable to the Court at the beginning of your matter when you file your Application for Divorce in Court.

You will not be able to lodge your Application for Divorce in Court without paying the court application fee.

The Application for Divorce fee payable to the Court is currently $930.00 and the reduced fee if you are eligible for it, is currently $310.00.

You can check if these are still the correct amounts or whether those fees have increased in the Family Law Courts fees brochure accessible here or here for Western Australia Applicants.

More information about the guidelines for fee exemption or reduction can be found on the Family Law Courts website here or here for Western Australia Applicants.

Emotional & Other Cost of Divorce

There is also a non-financial intangible cost of divorce.

For many couples, financial hardship will follow their relationship breakdown, separation and divorce. You used to have one set of household costs for the both of you, while you might now be living separately, meaning there is the cost of two households.  Likewise, both of you might have worked so that you had two incomes to cover your joint expenses, rather than the situation after separation, of just your own income to cover your own expenses.

Amongst other things, after a relationship has broken down and former couples are now living apart, living standards often decline and disposable incomes drop.

This can also take quite an emotional toll on a person, as well as cause significant stress, which can adversely impact the way you are able to enjoy life and sometimes also, your ability to work.

Health Professionals such as General Practitioners, Psychiatrists, Psychologists, Social Workers and Counsellors can often assist a person dealing with the after effects of relationship breakdown, separation and divorce.

Divorce in Australia: What else you need to know

Make doing your divorce yourself easy and save the money you would pay a lawyer to do your Divorce. Use our information sheet providing A list of steps you need to take to get a Divorce which gives you an easy to follow procedure to do your divorce.

Be prepared for your Divorce Court Hearing. Read our information sheet What happens at the Divorce Hearing.

Don’t forget to deal with the important legal issues which if not dealt with, could adversely affect your children and family. Make sure you read the information sheet How does Divorce affects your Will, Superannuation, Life Insurance and family after death.

You can read information in our information sheet on What you need to do to be able to apply for a Divorce including information about the requirements to apply, overseas marriages, separations under the same roof and how periods of reconciliation are treated.

If you have been married for less than two years the court has extra requirements you will need to know about and make sure you comply with to get a Divorce in Australia. These additional requirements are explained in our information sheet Divorce for Marriages under 2 years duration.

The Courts will not consider every issue you may be worried about when granting a divorce. The issues the Court looks at are fairly narrow and are detailed in our information sheet What things will a Court want to know to grant a Divorce.


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