What can I do to reduce my legal costs?

Property & Financial Matters, Separation, Divorce, & Relationship Matters, Understanding Family Law

What can I do to reduce my legal costs?

Complex family law matters can be costly. Here are our top tips to help you reduce your legal fees:

  1. Be prepared – the more leg work you do, the less your lawyer has to do. Know your facts When did you and your former partner start living together? What did you each own? When did you separate? Were there any special contributions made by either of you such as an inheritance or a gift from a family member?
  2. Prepare a list of your and your ex-partners assets, superannuation, and liabilities. Include what you think is the current market value is.
  3. Gather your relevant financial documents and collate them in chronological order and topics. Some of the things that you need to provide your lawyer without delay are:
    • Your tax returns and notices of assessment.
    • Your pay slips for the last 3 months;
    • Your bank statements for the last 12 months;
    • Your current superannuation statement. If you have your superannuation statement at the commencement of the relationship provide this.
    • Redbook valuation for motor vehicles.
    • Market appraisals and valuations for any properties.
  4. For parenting matters prepare a timeline of relevant events. Collate copies of relevant emails, text messages, Facebook posts etc to provide your lawyer. Think about what fact are you trying to prove and what evidence do you have to support this assertion.
  5. Ask your lawyer if there are any tasks you can do yourself to keep your legal fees down.
  6. Listen and follow the advice provided by your lawyer. They are on your team and have your back. You are paying them to provide you with objective advice. Sometimes you might not like what they have to say, but they are telling you this for your own good.
  7. Engage a counsellor or talk to a friend that can support you emotionally. Your lawyer is not your counsellor. Your legal fees will skyrocket if you try and use your lawyer like your friend or counsellor.
  8. Read and understand terms of the Disclosure Notice and Cost Agreement provided by your lawyer. Understand what your lawyer will be doing for you and what they will charge.

Cairns Family Law Group are big on being upfront with our client’s about legal fees. If you know what you need us to do, we can offer you a fixed fee price for that work. If you unsure what you need, we recommend that you start with having an initial consultation with us and we can then provide you with a pathway forward.

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