The court can order a party to pay legal costs
The Court can order that the party in control of funds make available to the other party sufficient money to pay legal costs When a relationship breaks down, it can often leave one party without financial support, and this can make it difficult to properly fund a legal case to obtain appropriate property settlement and other rights.
Provisions of the Family Law Act provide that, in appropriate circumstances, the Court can order that the party in control of funds made available to the other party sufficient money to pay legal costs and investigative costs so that their case can be properly prepared. Proper preparation and funding for preparation can make an enormous difference in Family Law and Property Relationships Act cases.
An appeal to the Family Court recently confirmed that where (in this case) the wife needed funds to meet ongoing legal costs of the proceedings and where she did not have the funds to pay those costs it was appropriate to exercise their discretion to make an Order compelling the husband to make those funds available.
The Family Law Act states that those parties involved in a de facto or marriage relationship should enter a definite legal agreement concerning financial arrangements just in case their de facto relationship or marriage fails. Sometimes in general terms, these are referred to as 'prenuptial agreements' but legally they are termed 'financial agreements'.
You can compile a financial agreement before a marriage takes place or de facto relationship is stable, during or after these relationships. These agreements may include a financial settlement, which could include superannuation entitlements if the relationship is dissolved and financial support for one spouse by the other.
If these financial agreements are made, then it solves the problem of negotiations when the couple are going through difficult times a result of the break-up. Conflicts over money can be time-wasting, and if they cannot be solved through mediation then reconciliation of the dispute has to be heard at an expensive court hearing.
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.