Step by step guide - Applying for fee reduction
When making an Application for Divorce, there are two different fee reductions:
- financial hardship.
You may be eligible for a general fee reduction if you if you:
- have a government concession card, for example, health care card or a pensioner concession card
- have been granted Legal Aid
- receive youth allowance, Austudy or ABSTUDY payments
- are under 18 years old
- are in prison or are otherwise detained in a public institution.
To apply for the general reduction, you will need to select ‘yes’ to question 1 on the online Application for Divorce and upload supporting evidence, for example a copy of your health care card.
If you are making a joint application for divorce, both you and your spouse must be eligible and provide supporting evidence.
If you are not eligible for a general reduction of fees, but would experience financial hardship by having to pay the full application fee, you can apply for a reduction of payment if divorce fees – financial hardship.
Step 1: Get your documents
Before you apply for a reduction of divorce fees, you should get all the documents you are going to file with your application. This may include:
- Centrelink income statement
- bank statements
- details of any bills, for example, credit cards, electricity, rent.
If you don’t provide the court with the evidence it needs to assess your application, it will give you a list of documents that you must provide within 14 days. If you don’t respond and provide the documents asked for within 14 days, your application may not be considered and you will be asked to pay the full filing fee.
Step 2: Complete your application
You must complete an Application for reduction of payment of divorce or decree of nullity – financial hardship.
You can download a copy of the Application for reduction of payment of divorce or decree of nullity - financial hardship form from the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia website.
When you complete the form, you must provide details of your:
- daily living expenses
Don’t sign your Affidavit until you are ready to have it witnessed.
Step 3: Get your application witnessed
You must have an authorised person (Justice of the peace or lawyer) witness your application when you sign it. If you attach any documents, you must get these witnessed as well.
You must confirm that you have provided all relevant financial information to the court, and that your information is true.
Step 4: File your application and pay the filing fee
You must upload your supporting documents at the same time you file your Application for Divorce online.
For your Application for Divorce to be successfully filed with the court, you must pay the reduced filing fee. If the registry later determines you are not eligible for a fee reduction, you will be contacted and asked to pay the balance of the full fee amount. If you don’t pay the full amount, your Application for Divorce will not go ahead.
You don’t need to serve your Application for reduction of payment of divorce or decree of nullity – financial hardship on your spouse.
If you are making a joint application for divorce, both you and your spouse must be eligible and both provide supporting evidence.
Instructions: Instructions for completing an Application for reduction of payment divorce or decree of nullity – financial hardship
Sample: Application for reduction of payment of divorce or decree of nullity – financial hardship
For more information about a reduction in divorce fees, see Guidelines for reduced fee - divorce and decree of nullity application on the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia website.