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Family Law

Family Law in Canberra – ‘Divorce tax’ opposed in Senate

By June 30, 2015No Comments

The Government’s plans to increase the fee for divorce applications by $350 from 1 July 2015 has been defeated in the Senate thanks to the Greens. The fee increase was one of a number of revenue-raising measures announced by the Government in the May 2015 Budget but has not been accepted as initially proposed.

The planned increases to various fees in the Federal Circuit, Federal and Family Courts came under heavy criticism from the other parties who have described the increases as ‘cynical’ and as ‘using family breakdown as a cash cow for the government’. The Law Council has noted that ‘there is no option for divorcing parties other than to apply to the court’ and that the revenue raised is not being fully invested back into the chronically underfunded Family Courts.

The fee increases are regarded as being particularly onerous on the most vulnerable of court users, such as domestic violence victims. The Greens have pointed out that child abuse and family violence cases require the greatest number of subpoenas to be filed. The Law Council also notes that low to middle income Australians might simply find it “too expensive to enforce their rights through the courts”.

Our Solicitors are experienced in helping clients apply for fee reductions or waivers, which can assist. We also specialise in non-court solutions such as collaborative law, which can avoid most of the litigation fees in the first place. Please contact Alliance Family Law on (02) 6223 2400 for assistance in this regard from one of our friendly lawyers.

Source: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/senate-moves-to-strike-out-new-divorce-tax-20150619-ghsavn.html

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