In an earlier blog post, we answered your questions about The Legal Side of Divorce to demystify some of the tricky legal aspects of divorce, which can be overwhelming at such an emotional time in your life. Here, we’ll take a look at some common questions about the financial aspects of getting divorced in Australia to make the whole process more clear.
How Much Does it Cost to Get Divorced?
Court fees vary depending on your circumstances, but the usual fee for an application for divorce currently sits at $845. In limited circumstances you may be eligible for a reduced application for divorce fee of $280. Your family law solicitors in Melbourne will be able to tell you if you’re eligible for the reduced fee.
You might also have to pay one or more court event fees, including the “setting down for hearing fee”, the “daily hearing fee” and the “conciliation conference fee”. You can find an up-to-date list of fees for filing and court events at the Family Court of Australia website here.
Will I Have to Support My Ex-partner?
If your ex-partner was reliant on your income or is unable to support themselves, you may have to pay spousal maintenance. Spousal maintenance is different to child maintenance and can be paid periodically or as a lump sum. The court encourages you and your ex-partner to negotiate maintenance together before you go to court. However, if you can’t agree, you will need to speak to family dispute resolution solicitors to resolve the matter.
Will Our Property and Assets be Divided 50-50?
There is no standard way for assets to be divided when a divorce takes place. If just agreements can’t be made by the couple, the court will consider the needs of each party and reach a divorce settlement based on their unique circumstances.
Can I Keep Property I Owned Before the Marriage?
The short answer is “maybe”. Any property you owned before the marriage may remain with you. However, depending on the length of your marriage and your unique circumstances, the court may treat the property as part of a combined pool of assets to be divided between you and your ex-partner.
What Will Happen to Our Debt and Investments?
Just like your assets, any money you owe and money you have invested will need to be divided fairly. In divorce settlement terms, “property” may refer to real estate, money, family businesses, investments, trusts, superannuation, pensions, debt, liabilities and any other joint expenses you are responsible for. Again, you and your ex-partner are encouraged to come to an agreement about these issues with your solicitors as part of your divorce settlements. If you can’t reach an agreement, the court will consider your circumstances to reach a fair division of all aspects of property.
If you and your former partner are struggling to reach a separation agreement or divorce settlement, get in touch with the divorce solicitors at Robert Wood and Associates today. We can lend a helping hand with dispute resolution and offer family law advice to see you through your divorce with the minimum amount of stress possible.