there are three main ways to reduce the cost of legal action in a family law matter.
Reach agreement with your partner instead of going to Court
You may be able to reach agreement through:
- private discussion;
- by counselling and/or mediation. We can recommend counsellors and mediators; or
- by negotiations through lawyers.
If agreement is reached you may apply for Consent Orders at the Family Court or the Federal Circuit Court to achieve finality, certainty and enforceability in the agreement.
Note: It is a requirement to pursue alternative dispute resolution, such as mediation or negotiation, prior to commencing any Court proceedings.
If Court proceedings are commenced:-
- Seek realistic Orders. We can advise as to the likely outcome of having those orders made if the matter is heard by a Judge;
- Continue to negotiate an agreement through private discussion, negotiations, counselling, mediation;
- Make full use of Court dates to explore settlement especially at Conciliation conferences, court ordered mediation, or other court events;
- Have your lawyer make a formal Offer of Settlement. Both you and your spouse will be required by the Court Rules to make genuine offers;
- Apply for waiver of Court filing fees if possible;
- Comply with all Court Directions and Rules about providing information. Failure to do so, may allow the other party to seek an order for costs against you.
Working with your Lawyer
As Lawyers generally charge by time, you can save their time - and therefore your money - by promptly providing all documents and information requested by them.
A Family Law lawyer is required to disclose how his or her costs are calculated. They should provide you with a written Costs Agreement at the outset and an estimation of the likely costs of the action. If the matter does not resolve and progresses into Court action, then your lawyer will be required to provide you with an update on estimated costs as the matter progresses.
Note: Property transferred between spouses pursuant to a Court Order may avoid stamp duty and capital gains tax. The retention of a property by one of the spouses will also avoid the costs of selling which can reduce the share received by each spouse.
Disclaimer : This article provides basic information only and is not a substitute for a professional or legal advice. It is prudent to obtain legal advice from a family lawyer.