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Your first meeting with us is a low fixed-fee of $220 (including gst) payable at the conclusion of your appointment.
We keep the cost of your first appointment low so you get to meet us before you choose us. This fee gives you a one hour appointment with an experienced lawyer, plus a 15 minute follow up phone call from that lawyer a few days later once you have thought about the advice given, and what you want to do next.
To speak with an experienced family lawyer about your situation is the best thing you can do. 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 discussing your situation and your options with an experienced family lawyer.
By the end of your first appointment, you will know your options and have an idea of what to do next. We will also give you an estimate of what it will cost to retain us to represent you.
Fixed fees apply when we are certain of the scope of work that needs to be done and the time involved to do it. We set a fixed fee for Divorce Applications. When people have reached an agreement and only need assistance to have the agreement formalised in Consent Orders, we can set a fixed fee. See Fixed Fee prices below.
When matters need to be negotiated and court proceedings need to be commenced it is impossible to quote a fixed fee. Lawyers who do this, more often than not, revise their fess and advise you of the increase, soon after work commences.
We charge based on the amount of time we spend on your matter. Our lawyers have hourly rates that depend on their experience and the type of work that is being done. When there are negotiations, Court documents to prepare, Conferences or Court Hearings to prepare for and attend, it is impossible to set a fixed fee as no one can predict how much time these things will take. In situations like this, lawyers keep track of the time spent on the matter and charge according to their hourly rate. In straightforward matters, we can give a good estimate of how long something will take.
Often you can keep costs down by doing some of the work for yourself. For example, in property matters, if you collect financial documents yourself and list them in an organised way, you can save hours off your bill.
Some people like to have everything covered by a lawyer. If you can afford it, this is definitely the way to go as it reduces the most amount of stress. If you don’t want a lawyer to do everything for you, we can be in the background helping when you need it. We have options where you do most of the negotiation work and then come and see us to check things are fair or to draft orders and agreements. In these situations, we charge you an hourly rate for our time.
We will always give you a good estimate of costs in advance of doing work. We can do this once we talk to you and know your situation.
The quicker people can come to an Agreement, the lower the legal fees!
At O'SheaDyer we have an excellent team of experienced lawyers and paralegals working for our Family Law clients. Jodi Dingwall, Emma Donald and Ivan Baxter are lawyers with substantial Family Law experience. Each of these people have hourly rates depending on their experience and qualifications.
Hourly rates at OSheaDyer are between $275 inc gst - $500 inc gst.
We set out specific rates in our Costs Agreement that we send to you if you retain us.
Bear in mind that while an experienced lawyer has a high hourly rate, they may be much quicker and more strategic than someone with less experience and a lower hourly rate.
If there are no children under 18:
Our fee is $1320 including gst + Court filing fee of $1060, Bailiff fee to Serve Application $200, Marriage Certificate Fee $55. TOTAL from $2635 + gst.
If there are children under 18 years of age:
Our fee is $1980 including gst + Court filing fee of $1060, Bailiff fee to Serve Application $200, Marriage Certificate Fee $55. TOTAL from $3295 + gst.
Cost for Consent Orders
When Obtaining Consent Orders for Children or Property Matters, you can obtain:
When you and your ex-partner are in agreement, you can present financial information to us in an organised format, and we are able to confirm the agreement is sensible and reasonable - we can prepare documentation quickly and the cost can be minimised. The complexity of your situation will affect the cost. If you have many properties that need to be valued, identified correctly, and their split agreed upon; or a family business or trust that needs re-arranging, there is considerable time that needs to be spent in doing this.
Sometimes people wish to minimise legal costs. When clients wish to do this, we give the option of a lower fee if they attend to filling in all the details into the Application Form. This is a lengthy and detailed court form that takes considerable time to fill in properly. We still check all details and draft all orders and attend to filing.
Agreement + Low Complexity + We Prepare the Application Form
If you are in Agreement with your ex-partner, or are very close to it, your Agreement could be formalised by Consent Orders within weeks.
Once Agreement has been reached, 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 NO Agreement has been reached and negotiations are required we try to give clients an estimate of how much time we think it will take to negotiate and complete the matter.
If we need to enter into negotiations with your ex-partner or their solicitor and can reach an Agreement or settlement without lengthy negotiations, our fees for both negotiating the agreement and preparing the application for consent orders will usually be from: $6600 - $10,890 including gst.
This will be more if there are other issues. This also depends upon the property pool and the complexity of the matter.
If negotiations are required, or an informal conference is held where the matter is discussed, and an Agreement is reached, the Court documents (for Consent Orders) can then be prepared promptly.
Once signed by the parties, the documents can be filed in the Court within 1 to 2 weeks, and the orders can be made quickly by the Court.
The time frame will very much depend on how negotiations progress with your ex-partner. Often this comes down to how reasonable the parties are. Sometimes properties need to be valued and that can take a week or two to arrange.
If the negotiations go well and/or an informal conference can be arranged quickly (within 4 to 8 weeks), there is no reason why final Consent Orders could not be made within 10 to 12 weeks of your first appointment.
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.
Sometimes it’s necessary to file an Application as a time limitation period is running out and Agreement hasn’t been reached.
Sometimes matters are urgent and it’s necessary to file an Application for the Court to make Interim Orders. We will always discuss the costs with you in advance.