The State Govt has just released the new 2020 schedule of court costs for accessing the family court system and there are increases across the board. Cost increases average almost 10% and come in to effect on the 1st of July this year.
An application for Divorce will now set you back $930, an application to nullify a marriage costs $1320 and a Final and interim initiating application will cost $715. And all of these fees need to be paid on application not when the order is issued.
Most interesting however are the new standard court costs to go to trial. When you are assigned a court date you will need to pay $655 for an appearance before a Magistrate and $890 for an appearance before a Judge. This is a non-refundable fee to be payed when a date is allocated but the good news is it does include one hearing day.
If your hearing goes beyond one day you will also need to pay $655 for a Magistrate or $890 for a Judge for each day you are in court. And that does not include lawyers fees for either trial prep or court appearances which could easily get to five figures as well.
The effect of all of this is that a choice to go to court will mean costs and lawyers fees that will easily exceed $15,000 and that is for a slightly contested divorce. If a separation was to become highly contested the sky is the limit on court costs and lawyers fees.
In contrast, choosing to go to mediation will cost under $1000 per person. And if you choose a collaborative divorce and negotiate your separation – thus avoiding court totally – it will cost you under $3500.
FYI We have included the new schedule of court costs below.
For help with your separation or parenting issues call BrightSide
Susan Hewitt is the Principal at Bright Side Family Law, a non-litigious family law and mediation practice. Susan has worked as a lawyer and journalist for almost 30 years. She is an accredited collaborative lawyer and family-law mediator who is committed to helping families through their relationship breakdown in an honest, cooperative and respectful manner.
If you are facing a family law matter call or email Bright Side