by | Jul 9, 2021

Tips to Keep Your Family Law Costs Down

We appreciate that payment of legal costs can present a challenge for many clients. We will work with you to ensure your case is dealt with as efficiently and cost effectively as possible. 

We will be transparent about our professional fees and the other out of pocket costs (referred to as ‘disbursements’) you may incur at each stage of your family law matter. 

Actual legal costs will vary depending on a number of factors specific to the circumstances of each particular case including: the complexity of the dispute, the attitudes adopted by each party and their lawyers, the consistency of your instructions, whether you resolve matters amicably, whether court proceedings are required and any delays in the court process.  

We will provide you with information regarding our fees prior to your first appointment.  Following our initial conference with you, we will provide you with a detailed estimate of your total legal costs.

To enable us to handle your matter as quickly and economically as possible we may have more than one lawyer working on your file with different levels of experience and therefore at different hourly rates, with assistance from other staff members.

We will communicate with you about the work to be undertaken at each stage of matter, the skill, experience and seniority of the lawyers working on your file and the hourly rates (and any other fees) you will be charged.  You will receive tax invoices at regular intervals and will be provided with updated costs estimates if an earlier estimate of costs changes. 

There are a number of things you can do to assist us to manage your legal costs:

  1. Provide us with all information we request in a timely manner. Any delay in providing relevant material may result in additional costs, as we will need to spend time making further requests for the material. This may prejudice your rights and your case. 
  2. Read all our communications and documents we send to you. It is important that you let us know if there are things you do not understand. 
  3. Be open and honest with us. If you are not, this can prejudice your case. Your communications with us are protected by client legal privilege, subject to our obligations to the court and professional ethical obligations. 
  4. Answer all questions we have asked of you, even if you think the answer may not assist your case. 
  5. Give us your instructions in a reasonable time frame when we request them. We will ask you for clarification or additional information, if required.
  6. It is important that we have the benefit of your detailed instructions. However, the frequency and content of your communication with us will have a direct impact on your legal costs. For example: consider sending one email rather than several emails.
  7. Consider sending us a list of questions or issues before you attend a conference with us, so we can try to ensure we have all the information available to answer them when we meet with you 
  8. Before your initial conference we will provide you with a Client Information Form for you to complete prior to your first appointment with us.  This assists us to prepare for our meeting with you and ensures we can make best use of our time in conference. 
  9. In anticipation of meeting with us, gather together relevant information which we may require from you including: 
    1. Copies of any existing court orders and details of any court dates
    2. Details of any family violence concerns, including a copy of any Intervention Order or Application for an Intervention Order 
    3. In relation to children’s matters, a brief chronology relating to the care of your children and a list of issues you consider to be particularly important
    4. A summary of assets, liabilities and superannuation entitlements – including current or  estimated values, if available. 
  10. In financial cases we often require large volumes of information and documents. You can assist in reducing your legal costs, by providing us with your financial documents in an organised and timely manner. Documents which are provided in date order and which are clearly labelled will be dealt with more cost efficiently. 
  11. It is important to listen to us when we explain what issues are most relevant to your case. What matters most at law may not correspond with what is most important to you personally.  We will assist you to identify the issues of most importance and provide you with the information and advice you need to make an informed decision about how to proceed with your family law case.