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Family law proceedings can be costly, even when matters resolve out-of-court by consent.

We offer a free 15 minute phone consultation

What Preliminary Work can I do to minimise my legal costs?

However, there are things that you can do to minimise your legal costs, including:

  1. Email instead of call: an email is quicker to read and respond to than a telephone call which can take between 20 and 40 minutes. This is also useful if you wish to update your solicitor on the progress of your matter, perhaps for their record later, but do not need to speak with them directly on that occasion.
  2. Provide all documents and information your lawyer has requested in one folder that is organised and itemised, and when your lawyer requests these documents. This saves the lawyer spending time organising your documents in a usable and accessible format before commencing work on your file. If you do not provide the information when your lawyer requests this of you and they are required to chase you for documents or instructions this is more time the lawyer has to spend on your matter which mens increased costs to you.
  3. Provide succinct instructions: documents (including affidavit) can quickly compound your legal fees if complete instructions are not provided as your lawyer will have to amend, re-formate and re-edit your documents with every amendment you request. This applies to all documents, including letters.
  4. Listen to your lawyer and consider their advice carefully. Your lawyer cannot tell you what to do or what your instruction should be, but they can give you a clear indication of how your matter is tracking and what you could expect should your matter proceed to a final hearing, this advice can assist you with your negotiations and settlement offers.

If you are concerned about your legal costs at any point during your proceedings you have a right to request, and should expect to receive, a Cost Notice at all major events throughout your family law matter (including mediations and conciliation conferences) pursuant to Rule 19.04 of the Family Law Rules 2004. These Notices are deigned to keep you on track with your legal fees and to assist you in negotiating a settlement. If you have not received on, ask your solicitor.

For assistance in negotiating and formalising your family law matter you can contact a member of our Family Law team to organise a free 15 minute chat.

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