SYDNEY, Australia (Reuters) -- Want someone killed in Australia? The average price for a "hit" is $12,700, but you can get it as cheap as $380.

A study of contract killings in Australia has found most are not ordered by criminals, but by angry spouses and jilted lovers.

But professional criminals order the most successful "hits."

The Australian Institute of Criminology and South Australia's major crime investigation branch studied 163 attempted and actual killings between 1989 and 2002.

"The most common motive or reason for hiring the services of a hit man was in relation to the dissolution of an intimate relationship," Toni Makkai, acting director of the Australian Institute of Criminology, said in a statement received on Wednesday.

Makkai said the most common motives ranged from preventing a person from pursing another relationship, revenge for having an affair, eliminating a partner in order to be with a lover or to gain custody of children.

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