Family Law Report - 9 Issues of Family Separation
Issue 9: Legal Costs
Your first meeting with us is free. It really is worth finding out as much as you can about what happens in a separation. Do not put off coming to see us because you don’t think it’s worth it. It is always worth it.
What will having our firm represent you and be your advocate cost? Your first meeting with us is free. And for all services after that we provide you with accurate cost estimates. Cost is determined by the level of agreement between you and your ex-partner and the level of complexity of your situation.
If an agreement has been reached:
Legal Costs: If you have reached an agreement with your partner in relation to the division of matrimonial property including superannuation, we will advise you in
relation to the reasonableness of that settlement. The cost of then preparing the Application to the Court for Consent Orders will be between $3,500 and $6,000 depending upon the property involved and the complexity of the matter. We will provide an accurate cost estimate at the time of our initial appointment and will confirm this in our cost agreement.
Timeframe: Upon finalising the agreement, we can then promptly prepare the necessary Court documents (Application for Consent Orders and Terms of Settlement) and have them signed and filed in the Court within 1 to 2 weeks.
The Court will usually approve the Application and make the orders within a couple of days or a week at the latest.
If you have not reached an agreement and negotiations are required:
Legal Costs: If we are required to enter into negotiations with your partner or their solicitor and can reach an agreement or settlement without protracted negotiation, our fees for both negotiating the agreement and preparing the application for consent orders will be between $5,000 and $8,000 plus GST.
Again, this depends upon the property pool and the complexity of the matter.
Timeframe: If negotiations are required, or an informal conference is held where the matter is discussed, and an agreement is reached, again the Court documents can be prepared promptly. Once signed by the parties, the documents can be filed in the Court within 1 to 2 weeks and the orders made quickly by the Court.
If the negotiations or informal conference can be arranged quickly (within 4 to 8 weeks), there is no reason why final Consent Orders could not be made within 8 to 12 weeks of your first appointment.
If no agreement can be reached:
In cases where negotiations are unsuccessful, we will advise you of your options.
These options could include attending mediation, filing an application in the court or attending a settlement conference (conciliation conference).
We will accurately advise you of the costs that will be incurred in each of these options and will give you a timeline with respect to how long this Court process will take.