What are the costs associated with divorce and separation

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Divorces and separations can be emotional processes to go through, paying the cost of a family lawyer means you can take emotion away and allow a professional to do their job. Picture from Shutterstock.

Seeking a separation or divorce can be a painful process and one that has plenty of costs associated with it. Whether you are seeking a divorce or separation after the minimum waiting period or a much longer time, the costs won’t change.

These costs are necessary administration costs and some are personal related costs, but all are necessary to execute the divorce or separation properly. Here is a breakdown of the costs associated with divorce and separation.

Legal representation

Family lawyers are the best way to ensure your divorce and separation go smoothly for all involved. With family lawyers, come the very necessary fees for representation.

These fees cover a lot, including peace of mind to know that your interests are being represented in a very rational way, with the law being considered.

Divorces and separations can be emotional processes to go through, paying the cost of a family lawyer means you can take emotion away and allow a professional to do their job.

It is also necessary that both parties seek their own legal representation so they are receiving counsel and advice that is in their best interest. Often you can see one party starting legal procedures and the second party goes along with the course set by the first party’s council.

The best outcomes are achieved when using family lawyers for divorce and separation.

Application fees

When you are ready to finalise a divorce, there are certain fees that must be paid to the courts. These divorce fees account for a number of things, including the court’s time to hear the application and process it.

An application fee will be charged for filing a divorce in any court in Australia. These fees may vary depending on the state you’re located in.

In general, you can expect to pay in the vicinity of $900 for a divorce filing fee, when you are going through the filing process with your family lawyer.

These fees may seem high, but in the long run, you won’t be concerned by an application fee when you’re able to move forward with your life again.

Living costs

Living costs can often be overlooked by couples considering separation and divorce. If you’re just entering your 12-month mandatory separation period, then it’s crucial to factor in the added cost of living during this time.

One person will likely need to find a new residence which comes with a big investment of money. Rent, removalists, energy bills and other costs will quickly add up in the process of finding a new place to live.

It’s important to remember that for one person, there will be a big cost involved to move out, especially if this move is unplanned and has to happen quickly.

Given you’re just starting this process, finances are unlikely to be split, meaning both parties will feel the effects of this necessary move. Adding to these costs is appliances and furniture and very quickly the cost starts adding up.

Parenting costs

It might seem odd to think of children causing an increased cost in a divorce or separation, however with parenting arrangements things can happen.

Parenting arrangements aren’t perfect, and they can take some time to get used to, with a lot of parents having to buy extra things for the two houses.

With kids moving between homes, it’s easy to forget things, and for some, it will matter if they are forgotten. Divorces and separations with parenting arrangements can cause additional costs for extra sets of school uniforms, sports equipment and other necessary items.

Don’t think just because a child has something now, that you won’t need another one after a separation. These costs will quickly add up.

Spousal maintenance and/or child support

Divorce and separation come with a requirement in most instances for spousal support and/or child support payments. In most relationships, one person has likely been disadvantaged in their career by virtue of raising children.

This scenario whilst together doesn’t represent any new costs to the family, however when separating or getting divorced, there needs to be reparation made to theta person to help bridge the gap in their income.

When a divorce or separation happens it’s not always possible for that individual to go straight to full-time work, especially if children still require care during the day.

Spousal maintenance and/or child support payments are costs you should almost certainly factor into any divorce and separation process.

Divorce and separation come with very distinct costs and some are not so distinct, but no matter what way you look at it, there are costs involved.

These are formal, legal processes, and they therefore have necessary costs to ensure a smooth and amicable transition.

If you’re considering or entering into a divorce or separation, consider these costs and whether you’re ready.



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