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How much does Family Court cost?
It can cost thousands of dollars to take part in Family Court of Australia proceedings. There are two types of fees you may have to pay:
- Family lawyer’s fees
- Family Court costs
If you pay for legal representation, your family lawyer’s fees may add up to several thousands dollars - maybe even more. These fees are set by your lawyer, so you should confirm their fees before you ask a lawyer to represent you in a Family Court matter.
You may also have to pay Family Court costs, which are set by the federal government. There are two types of Family Court fees: filing fees and court event fees (see table below).
Family Court costs
|Filing fees||Application for consent orders||$165|
|Filing fees||Application for decree as to nullity||$1275|
|Filing fees||Application for decree as to nullity - reduced fee||$425|
|Filing fees||Application as to validity of marriage, divorce annulment||$1275|
|Filing fees||Initiating application (parenting or financial, final only)||$345|
|Filing fees||Initiating application (parenting or financial, final and interim)||$465|
|Filing fees||Initiating application (parenting and financial, final only)||$565|
|Filing fees||Initiating application (parenting and financial, final and interim)||$685|
|Filing fees||Response to initiating application (final)||$345|
|Filing fees||Interim order application/application in a case (parenting and/or financial)||$120|
|Filing fees||Notice of appeal to the full court including an appeal from the Federal Circuit Court||$1360|
|Filing fees||Application for leave to appeal||$1360|
|Filing fees||Application under the Trans Tasman Proceedings Act 2010||$120|
|Filing fees||Filing an application to register a New Zealand judgement||$110|
|Filing fees||Issue subpoena (including subpoena in an arbitration)||$55|
|Court event fees||Setting down for hearing fee (defended matter)||$860|
|Court event fees||Daily hearing fee (excluding the first hearing day)||$860|
|Court event fees||Conciliation conference||$395|
The Family Court might order the other party to pay some or all of your family lawyer’s fees, although the general rule is that each party pays their own fees.
How much is a family lawyer?
Family law lawyers are free to set their own fees, so you should always check what a family law lawyer charges before appointing one. A typical rate might be several hundred dollars per hour.
Given that most lawyers operate on a per-hour rate, the cost of taking part in a Family Law matter will depend on how much work your lawyer is required to do.
You will probably have to pay several thousand dollars in family lawyer fees - although in some Family Law matters, your fees might be in the tens of thousands of dollars. Again, ask for an estimate of total costs before you appoint a lawyer.
What is family law?
Family law is a branch of law that focuses on family relationship matters, such as divorces and child custody disputes. One important element of Australian family law is the Family Law Act 1975, which outlines the rights of children and the responsibilities that parents have towards their children. Under Australian family law, families are required to make a genuine effort to resolve child disputes before initiating legal action.
What is legal finance?
Legal finance is a personal loan that is used to pay for Family Court fees, Family Court lawyer fees or other legal fees.
Some lenders offer ‘legal loans’ that are specifically designed for legal matters, such as Family Court proceedings. Other lenders offer generic personal loans that can be used to fund an array of expenses - from holidays and weddings to renovations and Family Court matters.
If you want to take out a personal loan for a Family Court matter, a specialist legal loan won’t necessarily be better than a generic personal loan. That’s why you should compare interest rates, fees, features and other conditions before deciding on your choice of legal finance.
Are there loans for Family Court fees?
Yes, some lenders do provide personal loans for Family Court fees. Some of these personal loans are generic products; others are designed specifically for legal scenarios, such as Family Court matters.
These ‘Family Court loans’ or ‘legal loans’ might have some or all of these features:
- The loan contract might say that the funds have to be used to pay for Family Court fees and/or lawyer fees
- The lender might transfer these funds directly to your lawyer
- The lender might extend your loan term if the matter drags on for longer than expected
- The lender might want a copy of any agreement you sign with your lawyer
Who offers Family Court loans?
A range of lenders should be willing to provide Family Court loans, whether as specialist legal finance products or as generic personal loans that are then used to fund Family Court matters.
Personal loan providers tend to assess applications on a case-by-case basis - so they might be willing to finance some borrowers and some Family Court scenarios, while they might be unwilling to finance others.
Before you submit a Family Court loan application, ask the lender how likely it is to be approved, because a failed application might damage your credit score.
What is the Family Court?
The Family Court of Australia is a court that specialises in family disputes. The court operates in all states and territories except Western Australia (which instead has a similar body, known as the Family Court of Western Australia). The Family Court of Australia hears parenting cases - which may involve issues of child welfare and custody - as well as financial cases.
How do you take out a Family Court loan?
Taking out a Family Court loan should be the same as taking out a generic personal loan, although please note that each lender has its own application process.
Most lenders allow you to make applications over the internet; others may allow phone or in-branch applications. When you make a Family Court loan application, or any personal loan application, lenders will generally want information about your:
- Financial position
With a Family Court loan, the lender might also want you to provide details about the legal case, as well as any paperwork you’ve signed with your lawyer.
Depending on the lender and your specific situation, it’s possible that your Family Court loan may be assessed, approved and paid on the same day you submit your application.
How do you compare Family Court loans?
The way to compare Family Court loans, or any personal loans, is by focusing on these six areas:
- Interest rate - what is the loan’s advertised interest rate and comparison rate?
- Interest type - does the loan have a fixed interest rate or a variable interest rate?
- Loan type - is the Family Court loan secured or unsecured?
- Loan term - how long do you have to pay off the loan?
- Fees - what are the possible upfront, ongoing and penalty fees?
- Features - does the loan offer redraw, early repayment and other features?
Property Personal Finance Writer
A property and personal finance writer, Nick Bendel covers property, loans, credit cards, superannuation, and other bank products. Nick has previously written for The Adviser, Mortgage Business, Lifehacker, Business Insider, Yahoo Finance, and InvestorDaily, and loves getting elbow-deep in the latest ABS, APRA and RBA data.
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Frequently asked questions
What is a bad credit personal loan?
A bad credit personal loan is a personal loan designed for somebody with a bad credit history. This type of personal loan has higher interest rates than regular personal loans as well as higher fees.
How long does it take to get a student personal loan?
Completing an online personal loan application can often take anywhere from 10 minutes to 1 hour. Depending on your lender, processing your personal loan application may take anywhere between 1 and 24 hours. If your personal loan application is approved, you may receive the money in your bank account the following business day, or, in some cases, the same day.
Can I get a bad credit personal loan with a guarantor?
Some lenders will consider personal loan applications from a borrower with bad credit if the borrower has a family member with good credit willing to guarantee the loan (a guarantor).
If the borrower fails to pay back their personal loan, it will be their guarantor’s responsibility to cover the repayments.
What is the average interest rate on personal loans for single parents?
Like other types of personal loans, the average interest rate for personal loans for single parents changes regularly, as lenders add, remove, and vary their loan offers. The interest rate you’ll receive may depend on a range of different factors, including your loan amount, loan term, security, income, and credit score.
Can you refinance a $5000 personal loan?
Much like home loans, many personal loans can be refinanced. This is where you replace your current personal loan with another personal loan, often from another lender and at a lower interest rate. Switching personal loans may let you enjoy more affordable repayments, or useful features and benefits.
If you have a $5000 personal loan as well as other debts, you may be able to use a debt consolidations personal loan to combine these debts into one, potentially saving you money and simplifying your repayments.
What is a personal loan?
A personal loan sits somewhere between a home loan and a credit card loan. Unlike with a credit card, you need to sign a formal contract to access a personal loan. However, the process is easier and faster than taking out a mortgage.
Loan sizes typically range from several hundred dollars to tens of thousands of dollars, while loan terms usually run from one to five years. Personal loans are generally used to consolidate debts, pay emergency bills or fund one-off expenses like holidays.
Can I repay a $3000 personal loan early?
If you receive a financial windfall (e.g. tax refund, inheritance, bonus), using some of this money to make extra repayments onto your personal loan or medium amount loan could help reduce the total interest you’re charged on your loan, or help clear your debt ahead of schedule.
Check your loan’s terms and conditions before paying extra onto your loan, as some lenders charge fees for making extra repayments, or early exit fees for clearing your debt ahead of the agreed term.
How can I get a $3000 loan approved?
Responsible lenders don’t have guaranteed approval for personal loans and medium amount loans, as the lender will want to check that you can afford the loan repayments on your current income without ending up in financial hardship.
Having a good credit score can increase the likelihood of your personal loan application being approved. Bad credit borrowers who opt for a medium amount loan with no credit checks may need to prove they can afford the repayments on their current income. Centrelink payments may not count, so you should check with the lender prior to making an application.
Should I get a fixed or variable personal loan?
Fixed personal loans keep your interest rate the same for the full loan term, while interest rates on variable personal loans may be raised or lowered during your loan term.
A fixed rate personal loan keeps your repayments consistent, which can help keep your budgeting consistent. You won't have to worry about higher repayments if your rates were to rise. However, on a fixed loan you’ll also potentially miss out on more affordable repayments if variable rates were to fall.
Can you pay off a quick loan early?
Many lenders will allow you to make extra repayments onto a quick personal loan when you can afford them, or even exit the loan early, which can help reduce the total interest you are charged. Be sure to check your quick loan’s terms and conditions, as some lenders charge early exit fees for paying off a loan ahead of schedule.
Which lenders offer bad credit personal loans?
Several dozen lenders offer bad credit personal loans in Australia. These are generally smaller lenders that aren’t household names.
How do I consolidate my debt if I have bad credit?
The worse your credit history, the harder you will find it to consolidate your debts, because lenders will be less willing to lend you money and will charge you higher interest rates.
However, people with bad credit histories can make debt consolidation work by following this three-step process:
- First, find a lender willing to give you a bad credit personal loan. This process will be simplified if you go through a finance broker or use a comparison website like RateCity.
- Second, make sure the interest repayments on your new loan are less than the repayments on the loans being replaced.
- Third, instead of spending those savings, use them to pay off the new loan.
What interest rates are charged for personal loans?
Lenders aren’t allowed to charge interest on loans of $2,000 and under. Instead, they make their money by charging a one-off establishment fee of up to 20 per cent and a monthly account-keeping fee of up to four per cent. Lenders might also ask you to pay a government fee.
For loans between $2,001 and $5,000, lenders can make their money in only two ways: a one-off fee of $400 and annual interest rates of up to 48 per cent.
For loans of $5,001 and above, or for loans that have terms longer than two years, lenders can charge annual interest rates of up to 48 per cent.
Those fee caps don’t apply to loans offered by authorised deposit-taking institutions such as banks, building societies or credit unions, although such institutions are highly unlikely to charge interest rates of anywhere near 48 per cent.
Can I get guaranteed approval for a bad credit personal loan?
Few, if any, lenders would be willing to give guaranteed approval for a bad credit personal loan. Borrowers with bad credit histories can have more complicated financial circumstances than other borrowers, so lenders will want time to study your application.
It’s all about risk. When someone applies for a personal loan, the lender evaluates how likely that borrower would be to repay the money. Lenders are more willing to give personal loans to borrowers with good credit than bad credit because there’s a higher likelihood that the personal loan will be repaid.
So a borrower with good credit is more likely to have a loan approved and to be approved faster, while a borrower with bad credit is less likely to have a loan approved and, if they are approved, may be approved slower.
How do I find out my credit rating/score?
You're entitled to one free credit report per year from credit reporting bodies like Equifax, Dun & Bradstreet, Experian and the Tasmanian Collection Service. You can also get a free report if you’ve been refused credit in the past 90 days.
Credit reporting bodies have up to 10 days to provide reports. If you want to access your report sooner, you’ll probably have to pay.
What is credit history?
Your credit history covers everything to do with applying for loans. It includes the number of loans you’ve applied for, the amounts you’ve borrowed and your record of meeting repayment schedules.
How do I know if I've got a bad credit history?
You can find out what your credit history looks like by accessing what's known as your credit rating or credit score. You're also able to check your credit report for free once per year.
What causes bad credit history?
Bad credit history is caused by filing for bankruptcy, defaulting on your debts, falling behind on your repayments and having loan applications rejected. Lenders are wary of borrowers who demonstrate this sort of behaviour because it suggests they might struggle to repay future loans.
Borrowers with bad credit may find it more difficult to be approved for a loan, or they may get higher interest rates when they do get approved.
What is an unsecured bad credit personal loan?
A bad credit personal loan is ‘unsecured’ when the borrower doesn’t offer up an asset, such as a car or jewellery, as collateral or security. Lenders generally charge higher interest rates on unsecured loans than secured loans.
What is debt consolidation?
Debt consolidation is the process of rolling several old debts into one new debt, usually to save money or for the sake of convenience.