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How Much Is the Cost of Divorce in Australia Today? (Updated Guide)

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Family law matters can be expensive, and divorce costs are no different. You have various things to consider when getting divorced beyond the application itself. Court fees are governed by Family Law (Fees) Regulations 2022.

The cost of divorce in Australia is indexed to inflation and increases yearly. Let’s explain what you can expect to pay for a divorce in 2024.

  • What is the cost of divorce in Australia? (Filing Fee)
  • What does it cost to produce a marriage certificate?
  • What are the costs associated with parenting and property arrangements?
  • What are court order filing fees?
  • What are your legal fees?

What is the cost of divorce in Australia? (Filing Fee)

A party seeking a divorce must apply with the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia. The fee for filing a divorce increased by the following:

  • 1 July 2022: $990
  • 1 July 2023: $1060

Decree of Nullity

A marriage must satisfy specific criteria to be considered valid, which are:

  • Consent. Both parties must give their genuine and informed consent to the marriage. This means they understand what marriage means and freely choose to marry.
  • Age Requirement. Both parties must be at least 18 years old. If one party is aged 16 or 17, a court order is required along with parental consent.
  • Not Already Married. Neither party can be lawfully married to someone else at the time of the marriage.
  • Not Closely Related. The parties must not be closely related by blood. Close relatives such as siblings or parent/child cannot legally marry.
  • Understanding of Marriage. Both parties must understand the nature of the marriage ceremony and what it signifies.

If your marriage doesn’t meet all these criteria, it isn’t valid and may be annulled. The cost of filing a decree as to Nullity increased by the following:

  • 1 July 2022: $1405
  • 1 July 2023: $1505

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Download our FREE Divorce Checklist for a more detailed guide on the next steps.

What does it cost to produce a marriage certificate?

You will need your marriage certificate to proceed with a divorce application. If you have misplaced your marriage certificate, you can apply for a replacement for the following cost:

  • Official marriage certificate (standard postage included): $54.40
  • Urgent application: $32.20

What are the costs associated with parenting and property arrangements?

Divorcing parties often need to consider how they will handle children and property. Organising these matters in a legally binding way will attract fees.

Consent orders

Consent orders can be used to finalise financial and parenting arrangements. The filing fees associated with consent orders are the following:

  • 1 July 2022: $180
  • 1 July 2023: $195

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What are court order filing fees?

At times, a party to a divorce feels the need to apply for court orders without the consent of their former spouse. Court orders can be granted on an interim or final basis. Interim orders can be critical for parties who require immediate court action before final orders are determined. Parties may wish to apply for interim orders for various reasons, including the following:

  • Initiating Application (Parenting OR Financial, Final only): $410
  • Initiating Application (Parenting OR Financial, Final AND Interim): $550
  • Initiating application (Parenting AND Financial, Final only): $670
  • Initiating Application (Parenting AND Financial, Final AND Interim): $810
  • Interim order application/Application in a case (Parenting AND/OR Financial): $140

Fee exemption

In certain circumstances, you may be eligible for a reduced fee or fee waiver when making an application. The Court makes provisions for people who satisfy specific criteria. People holding certain government concession cards may be exempted from some filing fees. You may be exempted from payment if you are:

  • The primary cardholder (not a dependant of a primary cardholder) of a health care card, pensioner concession card or Commonwealth seniors health card;
  • Receiving youth allowance, Austudy or ABSTUDY payments;
  • Under the age of 18; or
  • An inmate of a prison or otherwise legally detained in a public institution.

If you don’t satisfy the above criteria, you may still be eligible for a waiver if you demonstrate financial hardship. The Family Court assesses financial hardship through three tests.

Financial hardship tests

The Family Court determines financial hardship through a series of tests. These tests are:

  • The income test
  • The assets test
  • The daily living expenses and liabilities test.

Income test

The income test is applied to your gross income. The test considers income you may receive from numerous sources, including:

  • Employment income – wages, salary and self-employment income;
  • Employer provided fringe benefits;
  • Rental income;
  • Paid Parental Leave;
  • Lump sum payments such as redundancy, leave or termination payments;
  • Foreign income;
  • Income from financial investments such as bank accounts, managed investments and shares.

The party’s number of dependants affects the income allowable under this test. The table below shows how the number of dependants affects the income permitted by this test.

party’s number of dependants affects the income allowable under this test

Assets test

The assets test considers your cash and convertible shares or bonds. To satisfy this test, the value of these liquid assets must not exceed five times the fee in question. For example, if a party is applying for a consent order, the value of their liquid assets cannot exceed $975 (5 x $195).

Daily living expenses and liabilities test

You may still be required to pay the full fee if your surplus fortnightly income exceeds a certain level. Your surplus income is considered your income after covering all reasonable daily living expenses. These expenses can include things like:

  • Food;
  • Rent or home mortgage payments;
  • Credit card debts;
  • Other loan or lease repayments;
  • Electricity;
  • Phone(s);
  • The costs of running a motor car.

The allowable surplus income under this test with respect to relevant filing fees is the following:

Filing fee (maximum allowable surplus income)

  • Application for consent orders: $195 ($95)
  • Application for declaration of validity: $1,405 ($700)
  • Initiating application (children and financial): $670 ($335)
  • Initiating application (family law): $410 ($205)
  • Response to initiating application: $410 ($205)
  • Notice of appeal: $1,605 ($800)
  • Daily hearing fee (for each hearing day, excluding the first hearing day): $745 ($370)
  • Setting down for hearing fee (defended matters): $745 ($370)
  • Conciliation conference: $435 ($215)
  • Subpoena fee: $60 ($30)
  • Interim application: $130 ($65)

A reduced court filing fee

Fees for a divorce application and a decree of nullity application cannot be waived entirely. However, you may be able to receive a reduced fee. As of 1 July 2023, the reduced costs are the following:

  • Application for divorce: $350
  • Application for decree as to Nullity: $500

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What are your legal fees?

When going through family law matters, seeking advice from a divorce lawyer is recommended. A family lawyer generally offers a fixed fee for many family law issues. So, what are the costs involved with legal representation?

Here are some divorce lawyer cost approximations to give you an idea of what you could expect to pay.

  • Joint divorce application: $1000
  • Sole divorce application: $1500
  • Parenting/property consent orders: $1500-$2000
  • Combined parenting/property consent orders: $3000
  • Preparing a financial agreement (with legal advice and certificate): $2000
  • Providing independent legal advice and certificate: $1000
  • Financial disclosure and property settlement negotiation: $3000
  • Family dispute resolution support: $1000
  • Initiating application or response to application (parenting and/or property: $5500-$6000


Before starting a divorce proceedings, it’s vital to understand the cost of divorce in Australia. Court costs increase every year in line with inflation, so this updated guide can serve as a comprehensive rundown of the most current fee structure for the Family Court.

It’s also crucial to understand what costs come with engaging divorce lawyers. Our approximations should give you an idea of what you can expect to pay.

If you need advice on divorce, contact our divorce lawyers today.

Don’t let legal issues stress you out. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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Rowena Ferrall


Rowena Ferrall is the principal lawyer of Ferrall & Co. Lawyers, which was established in 2017. The firm specialises in family law, domestic violence and criminal defence.

Rowena is licensed to practice in Queensland and the High Court of Australia. Her approach combines legal expertise with compassion, ensuring clients receive the right advice and emotional support. She’s an active member of several law associations and supports various charities. Contact Rowena for more information.

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