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Understanding Court Filing Fees

How Much does a divorce cost

One of the most common questions about divorce in Australia is whether the court filing fee can be avoided.

A divorce must be granted by a Federal Court. The Federal Government sets fees for divorce applications: currently, $1060 for those without concession and $350 for those with a Health Care Card or other concession.

Unfortunately, these fees are unavoidable when proceeding with a divorce.

It’s essential to budget for these costs when planning your divorce. Instalment payment arrangements may be arranged if using a solicitor.

Setting the necessary funds aside can help avoid any unexpected delays with an application.

What To Do If You Have Lost Your Marriage Certificate

Marriage Certificate


A misplaced marriage certificate can cause panic, but there’s no need to worry.

A new copy can be obtained by contacting the relevant Registry of Births, Deaths & Marriages in the state or territory where marriage occurred.

The cost is around $80, and while getting a new copy may take some time, this step is crucial for moving forward with the divorce application.

If you were married overseas and have lost your marriage certificate, the process might be a bit more complex but still possible.

You’ll need to contact the relevant authorities in that country to get a new copy.

Additionally, if the certificate is in a language other than English, a translated copy will have to be supplied to file with your application.

Lastly if no certificate was ever issued or a copy cannot be obtained it is still possible to proceed by documenting evidence that you were married.

Dealing With An Absent Or Uncooperative Spouse


Sometimes, spouses move interstate or overseas, making it challenging to serve divorce papers.

If a spouse’s whereabouts is unknown then reaching out to friends, family, or children of the relationship for information becomes necessary.

When an ex-spouse cannot be located, an application for a dispensation of service can be made, which means the court will accept that all reasonable attempts have been made to find them and will then allow the divorce to proceed.

If a spouse is intentionally avoiding service, the process might be delayed.

Typically, divorce papers must be served 28 days before the court hearing.

If your spouse is being difficult, you might need to arrange for personal service or provide evidence that all reasonable attempts to serve them have been made.

An adjournment of the first divorce hearing date may be necessary to ensure proper service occurs.

Separation Under One Roof & Brief Reconcilliations

separated couple on the couch


Living under the same roof after separating can count as time towards the 12 months of separation needed for a divorce to proceed. 

If, after deciding to separate, spouses live separately within the same house, such as having separate bedrooms and cooking and eating meals separately, this can still count as separation.

Detailed evidence of the living arrangements will be needed to support a claim of separation while living under one roof.

Any brief reconciliations after the initial separation date may impact the divorce timeline.

If the total of reconciliation periods does not exceed three months within a 12-month separation period, an application for divorce can occur when you add the 12 months after the initial separation date AND the period/s of reconciliation.

If the reconciliation/s lasted longer than three months, the clock resets, and 12 months of separation is calculated from the last separation date.

Early Marriage & Divorce Applications

Couple waiting for divorce papers


For couples who separated within the first twelve months of marriage, there are additional steps to consider.

A full 12 months of separation must occur before applying for divorce, and if this period ends within the first two years of the date of marriage, evidence must be shows that the couple has taken reasonable steps to consider if reconciling is possible.

This may involve providing additional affidavit evidence and attending/attempting counselling.

Given these extra requirements, it might be simpler to wait until the two-year mark after the marriage before filing for divorce to streamline the process and avoid the need for additional documentation and action.

We Are Here To Help

Your Online Legal Group

Navigating divorce can be complex, but understanding these common questions can help demystify the process.


Whether it’s dealing with lost documents, serving an uncooperative spouse, or understanding separation rules, having the right information is crucial.


Remember, seeking legal advice early on can provide clarity and make the journey much smoother.


The Team at Your Divorce are here to help answer any questions and provide guidance through each step of the divorce process.