Separation and divorce incur a cost, both financially and emotionally there is no doubt. The emotional cost is a lot harder to quantify than the financial cost and naturally whenever you ask someone about their divorce it will nearly always be the dollar amount that gets mentioned. There are ways to reduce the financial cost of a divorce and given recent news about Australia’s most expensive divorce matter which cost the parties a staggering $40 million in legal costs, extended over a period of 14 years and involved 15 separate law firms!
This is certainly not the status quo and most family law matters do not incur terrifying legal fees, and resolve a lot quicker.
In part one of a two part series, we consider the importance of taking control of your legal costs and provide some guidance as to how you can take steps to manage your family law matter in a more cost effective way.
There are a number of strategies that you can adopt throughout your matter to ensure that you are getting ‘bang for your buck’. We understand that court proceedings, and legal fees generally, can be costly. It is therefore important that you are mindful of this as your matter progresses.
Some ways that you can stay on top of your costs include:
- Ensure that you carefully consider the advices provided to you, and seek clarity on any issues you may not understand. This will assist us in working with you effectively and efficiently to reach an outcome that is appropriate and reasonable for your specific set of circumstances.
- Provide instructions and information as efficiently as you can. Carefully review the specific questions that we have asked, or the list of documents we have asked that you collate, and answer each request thoroughly and appropriately. If you require additional time to collate information or documents, communicate this to your solicitor. This will reduce the amount of contact we are require to have with you to send further requests for information.
- Communicate with your solicitor through email. This enables you to provide clear instructions or explicitly set out any questions or concerns you may have, and allows our solicitors time to review this and respond accordingly.
- If the option is available to you, seek the assistance of our support team of Paralegals and administrative and accounts staff. Our solicitors work closely with these staff members, and are able to assist if a solicitor is unavailable to do so. Anything that needs to be escalated to the solicitor immediately, will be. Our administrative and junior staff members often have lower rates than senior team members, which will assist in reducing your legal costs.
- Openly discuss your legal fees with your solicitor or our accounts team. Any conversations relating to costs and fees will not be charged. We encourage you to reach out to our team in relation to any questions or concerns you may have, and seek clarity where required.
- Engage a counsellor or talk with friends and family to support you through the emotional aspects of your divorce. Don’t pay your lawyer to fulfil this role. Our role is to provide you with solid legal advice and provide you with an objective, logical point of view as you take the first steps on your new pathway.
At Best Wilson Buckley Family Law, we work towards resolution. Reaching final, positive outcomes for our clients in a timely and cost effective manner. If you require assistance with your family law matter, reach out to one of our offices and speak to our team of specialist family lawyers to see how we can support you through this process.