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Brandis sneak attack on court fees while Senate sleeps


You will be aware that the Federal Court Legislation Amendment (Fees) Regulation 2015 were to come into effect on 1 July 2015.  Schedule 2 of the Regulations was to amend the Family Law (Fees) Regulation 2012 by:
  • Increasing the fee for divorce applications, consent orders, issuing subpoenas and most other family law fees, and
  • Establishing a new fee for the filing of amended applications.
The Senate voted in favour of a motion to disallow Schedule 2, the effect of which is that there WAS to be no change to these fees on 1 July. However it seems in an all out assault on the Senate, the Government moved to pass the Family Law (Fees) Amendment (2015 Measures No. 1) Regulation 2015 which as been effected into operation as a regulation. On top of that they added a $5.00 increase from the previously proposed fees. ... So take that Senate!

Family law fee increases that were intended to commence on 1 July 2015 under Schedule 2 of the Federal Courts Legislation Amendment (Fees) Regulation 2015 were disallowed by the Senate on 25 June 2015. The Government will reintroduce those family law fee increases under the Regulation with an additional $5 increase. The reduced divorce fees in the Family Court and Federal Circuit Court will continue to not be subject to any increase. The family law filing fee for an application to register a New Zealand judgment under the Trans‑Tasman Proceedings Act 2010 will also remain unchanged from the Federal Courts Legislation Amendment (Fees) Regulation ($110) to ensure consistency with the corresponding general federal law fee increase from 1 July 2015.

NEW BILL signed and sealed into law

NOTE: The Family Law (Fees) Amendment (2015 Measures No. 1) Regulation 2015 has been signed and registered.

This means that family law fees increased on Monday 13 July 2015. 

The Family Court of Australia and the Federal Circuit Court of Australia do not set the fees payable in the courts. Fees are set by Federal Government regulations - Family Law (Fees) Regulations 2012.

GST does not apply to court fees.

Attachment
Family Law (Fees) Amendment (2015 Measures No 1)
Attachment
Explanatory Memorandum

Family Court of Australia

FILING FEES
Application for consent orders $240
Application for decree as to nullity $1200
Application for decree as to nullity - reduced fee^ $395
Application as to validity of Marriage, Divorce Annulment $1320
Initiating Application (Parenting OR Financial, Final only) $355
Initiating Application (Parenting OR Financial, Final AND Interim) $480*
Initiating application (Parenting AND Financial, Final only) $590
Initiating Application (Parenting AND Financial, Final AND Interim) $715*
Amended application (new fee) $125
Response to initiating application (Final) $355
Interim order application/Application in a case (Parenting AND/OR Financial) $125
Notice of appeal to the full court including an appeal from the Federal Circuit Court $1405
Application for leave to appeal $1405
Application under the Trans Tasman Proceedings Act 2010 $125
Filing an application to register a New Zealand judgment $110
Issue subpoena $125
COURT EVENT FEES
Setting down for hearing fee (defended matter) $890
Daily hearing fee (for each hearing day, excluding the first hearing day) $890
Conciliation conference $415

Federal Circuit Court of Australia

FILING FEES
Application for divorce $1200
Application for divorce – reduced fee^ $280
Initiating Application (Parenting OR Financial, Final only) $355
Initiating Application (Parenting OR Financial, Final AND Interim) $480*
Initiating application (Parenting AND Financial, Final only) $590
Initiating Application (Parenting AND Financial, Final AND Interim) $715*
Amended application (new fee) $125
Response to initiating application (Final) $355
Interim order application/Application in a case (Parenting AND/OR Financial) $125
Issue subpoena $125
Application under the Trans Tasman Proceedings Act 2010 $125
Filing an application to register a New Zealand judgment $110

COURT EVENT FEES
Setting down for hearing fee (defended matter) (This fee is not refundable) $655
Daily hearing fee (for each hearing day, excluding the first hearing day) $655
Conciliation conference $415

* Initiating applications that seek interim AND final orders also attract the interim order fee. Example:

Initiating Application (Parenting AND Financial) $590 + Interim order application $125 = Total filing fee $715
Initiating Application (Parenting OR Financial, Final) $355 + Interim order application $125 = Total filing fee $480

If you hold certain Government concession cards or you can demonstrate financial hardship, you may be eligible for:

^ a reduced fee for an application for divorce (both parties must be eligible if filing a joint application) or decree of nullity.

For all other applications you may be eligible for an exemption of fees.

See the Guidelines for exemption of court fees

Payment for filing and event based fees can be made in registries via:

eftpos
debit card
credit card

or by mail using:

VISA and Mastercard

Some court filing fees can also be paid online when filing using the Commonwealth Courts Portal www.comcourts.gov.au

Cheques or money orders should be made payable to the ‘Family Court and Federal Circuit Court’

Credit card payment form

You may need this form when making a payment.

This form must be included with any mailed application or request when you pay by credit card. Please do not fax this form unless you have been directly requested to do so by the Court. 

The Credit card payment form is available on the forms page.

These fees apply from 13 July 2015 and are set by Federal Government regulations Family Law (Fees) Regulations 2012.
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