A couple of weeks ago I posted about trying to make sense of the fluctuating Court fees (see blog post below entitled The cost of divorce…what’s the deal with the fluctuating Court fees).
When I last posted the Court fees had been hiked up; then dropped down; and then hiked up again for the second time.
At the time we were waiting until the Senate met again in August to determine whether the increase in Court fees would be disallowed for the second time (the first proposed fee rise had already been disallowed).
I am pleased to say that the Senate met this week and successfully moved to block the government’s attempt to raise the Court fees.
While I cannot say what is going to happen in the future (it could be that there will be another attempt to raise the fees…who knows), I can say that for the time being we are back to the lower Court fees.
In my last post I mentioned that last time the fees were set to rise, there may have been a mad rush to commence proceedings in Courts and take other actions that required filing fees with the Courts.
I am hopeful that the same rush will not happen again now that fees have been lowered. Hopefully we can tell our clients with certainty that, of all the many factors they have to consider in weighing up whether to commence Court proceedings or not to commence Court proceedings, the fluctuating cost of the filing fees is not one of those factors.
By Dara Isaacson
Dara is a solicitor at Farrar Gesini Dunn Melbourne and practices exclusively in family law.