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Divorce Application Fees Increasing on July 1, 2015

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File before 30 June 2015  

Separating couples looking to divorce will be subject to significantly increased filing fees from 1 July 2015. The government recently announced the new fee schedule as part of the 2015 budget. Precise details of the increased fees will be released in early July. It is expected that the filing fee for Divorce Applications will increase from $845 to $1,200. To avoid the increased filing fee, separated couples intent on divorcing should seek immediate legal advice and file their applications before 1 July 2015. 

Are you eligible to make an application before 1 July 2015?

Are you or your spouse at least one of the following?

  • An Australian citizen;
  • Domiciled in Australia; or
  • Resident in Australia for 12 months.

Are you going to be 12 months separated at 29 June 2015?

Spouses must be separated for at least 12 months and one day i.e. have separated finally by no later than 28 June 2014.    

The court recognises that spouses can be separated but still live in the same house. This is referred to as “separation under the one roof”.  In such cases, the court must be satisfied that despite the shared living arrangement, the spouses were in fact separated.  This can be proved by evidence that the spouses slept in separate bedrooms, ceased sexual relations and attended to their own cooking and cleaning.

What if you have been married for less than 2 years?

Spouses who have been married for a period of less than two years must seek the court’s permission to file a Divorce Application. To be eligible to apply for divorce, spouses married for less than 2 years must attend counselling to discuss the prospect of reconciliation and provide to the court a certificate of that counselling.

Do you need to attend court?

Parties can apply for a divorce together or separately.

If spouses make a joint application they are not required to attend the hearing.

 If a spouse makes a sole application and there is a child of the marriage under 18, the spouse (or their lawyer) must attend the hearing. This attendance is required to satisfy the court that proper arrangements have been made for the child’s care and welfare.

 What else do you need to consider?

 Spouses may negotiate a property settlement or maintenance at any time before the divorce order is granted. However, an application for maintenance or property division must be filed within 12 months of the divorce becoming final, namely 1 month and 1 day after the divorce hearing.

Effect of Divorce on Wills

Upon divorce, any clauses of a Will which provide for the testator’s former spouse are automatically revoked. Accordingly, divorcing spouses should seek legal advice and revise their Wills to reflect their current circumstances and wishes.

The Family Law team at MST welcomes the opportunity to assist you with your divorce before 30 June 2015.

For more information on divorce and property division, please contact our Family Law team by email family@mst.com.au or by telephone +61 8540 0200.