Court fees

The Family Court of Australia does not set the fees payable in the Court. Fees are set by the Family Law (Fees) Regulations 2012.

Court fees are received by the Court on behalf of the Government and are different from the fees that lawyers charge their clients.

In some cases a reduced fee may be sought for divorce applications, or decree of nullity, or in respect of other fees, an exemption if you hold certain government concession cards or you can demonstrate financial hardship. 

To find out more about court fees, exemptions and what forms you will need to file, see Court Fees (Family Law).

Costs

Parties may employ lawyers (barristers or solicitors) to represent them in a proceeding in the Court. Lawyers usually charge their clients for their services (fees) and expenses that they have paid on the client’s behalf (disbursements). Disbursements may include court fees. Together these charges (lawyers’ fees and disbursements) are known as costs.

If you are not happy with the fees charged by your lawyer, you should first explain your concerns to your lawyer and attempt to resolve the dispute. The Court is not responsible for overseeing private fee arrangements between a lawyer and client. If you wish to dispute the fees charged by your lawyer, you need to contact the law society or institute in your State or Territory.

A person who is exempt from payment of court fees can still be ordered to pay the costs of another party.

The rules about party-party costs are set out in the Family Law Rules 2004.

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