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Family Law (Divorce Fees Validation) Bill 2007

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2004-2005-2006-2007

 

 

 

 

THE PARLIAMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

 

 

 

 

 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 

 

 

 

 

FAMILY LAW (DIVORCE FEES VALIDATION) BILL 2007

 

 

 

 

EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Circulated by authority of the Attorney-General,

the Honourable Philip Ruddock MP)



FAMILY LAW (DIVORCE FEES VALIDATION) BILL 2007

 

OUTLINE

 

The purpose of the Bill is to amend the Family Law Act 1975 to validate retrospectively the charging of an unauthorised filing fee for divorce applications in the Family Court of Western Australia.

 

In July 2005, the filing fee in the Federal Magistrates Court for divorce applications under the Family Law Act was increased.  The equivalent fee in the Family Court of Western Australia would normally have been increased to match the Federal Magistrates Court fee to ensure consistency across Australia, through an amendment to subregulation 11(1A) of the Family Law Regulations 1984 .  However, due to an administrative oversight, this did not occur.  The Family Court of Western Australia assumed the necessary amendment to the Family Law Regulations had been made and began to charge the increased fee. 

 

An amendment to subregulation 11(1A) of the Family Law Regulations, effective 9 October 2006, authorised the Family Court of Western Australia to charge a fee equivalent to the fee applicable at that time for a divorce application in the Federal Magistrates Court.

 

The proposed Bill will validate retrospectively the charging of the fees that were in fact charged for divorce applications in the Family Court of Western Australia for the period 1 July 2005 to 9 October 2006.

 

FINANCIAL IMPACT STATEMENT

 

The proposed Bill will not have any significant financial impact.



NOTES ON CLAUSES

 

Clause 1: Short title

 

1.      Clause 1 is a formal provision specifying the short title of the Bill.

 

Clause 2: Commencement

 

2.      All sections of the Act will commence on the day on which it receives Royal Assent.

 

Clause 3: Increase in divorce fee for certain courts

 

3.      This clause states the filing fees in the Family Court of Western Australia for a divorce application instituted during the two periods of 1 July 2005 to 30 June 2006, and 1 July to 8 October 2006. 

 

4.             The fees apply to divorce proceedings which were instituted in a court constituted by a stipendiary magistrate who is the Principal Registrar, or a Registrar, of the Family Court of Western Australia as well as divorce proceedings instituted in another court for transfer to such a court.  The fees specified in clause 3 were the fees in fact charged for filing a divorce application in the Family Court of Western Australia during the two periods mentioned in paragraph 3.