I’m at the start of my separation journey and looking to engage a lawyer but no idea how much I should be expecting to pay. Is anyone willing to share how much their lawyers are charging so I can gain a rough guide & avoid paying anymore than I have to? Thanks
I paid 25k. It depends how far is goes. I would do a consult first, but then walk away and do the mediation part yourself. If mediation fails go back to your lawyer. Some lawyers are happy to take on cases where you go back and forth to them for advice, but you do the work. Goodluck
An experienced family lawyer should be upwards of $450 per hour. It sounds like a lot of money but I wouldn’t expect anything less if you want someone who doesn’t just “dabble” in family law and who has the knowledge and experience to negotiate the best outcome for you and your child/ren. You can cut down a lot of their work (and therefore reduce your costs) by doing a lot of the admin work yourself. For example, if it involves property settlement, put together an easy to read financial summary outlining income (obtainable from ATO in MyGov), super, detailing financial contributions to the relationship etc. Somebody has to do the work here and it’s better for your pocket that you do it instead of paying your lawyer to do what you could’ve done yourself. If you expect your matter to go to Court (e.g., if you’re dealing with an unreasonable or narc ex or just can’t agree on parenting/property matters), a good lawyer will give you a costs estimate for each stage of the Court process (outlining barrister fees etc.). Assuming that both parties are somewhat reasonable and able to remain focused on the best interests of the children (which is often NOT the case), try to use mediation to come to an agreement/arrangement that you can live with in order to avoid going to Court. Sometimes Court is really the only option though (speaking from firsthand experience).
Thanks so much. Unfortunately dealing with a nasty and abusive narc who is completely against the separation so as much as I’d prefer to save the cash I see no choice but to involve legal help. I’ve had some quotes for collaborative practice lawyers with capped fees at $335 an hour so that seems fairly reasonable from these responses
Is your ex likely to “collaborate”? It sounds unlikely. You may be better off going with a more aggressive lawyer if you’re dealing with an ex like that. Hopefully if you have to go to Court you’ll end up getting most or all of your legal fees reimbursed when you do your property settlement
Here at Beanstalk, we partner with New Way Lawyers. They are non-profit so lots cheaper than your standard lawyers, plus they have a brilliant client care program to help with the emotional side of the separation along-side the legal. They work with clients throughout Australia. You can book a free 20 minute chat with them here: