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Family Law Costs: Making Legal Fees More Affordable

21st May 2021 Uncategorized
Family law matters such as separation and divorce often come at a significant financial cost that can amplify the stress and emotional toll in an already trying time in life. Thankfully, there are a number of ways in which families can speed up the legal process in order to eliminate unnecessary costs along the way. Today, we have a look at a few effective ways you can make legal fees more affordable, so read on to find out more.

Consider Alternative Dispute Resolution

In most instances, the length or duration of a case directly correlates to the legal fees you will accrue. At the same time, we understand that family law can be incredibly complex and in many situations, mediation or alternative dispute resolutions just aren’t in the cards. However, whenever possible it is always recommended that families explore alternative routes of dispute resolution.

One of the best ways of achieving alternative dispute resolution is with effective mediation. Family Mediation is a fantastic solution that can help preserve relationships and achieve comprehensive/customised agreements, whilst at the same time offering a greater degree of party control. This can help families come to agreements that suit everyone’s needs the best -- something that is often found to be challenging in court due to the impersonal nature of proceedings.

The best route towards mediation can differ based on your individual circumstances, but some of the most popular options include:

Lawyer Negotiation – If you are reluctant to deal with the other party or are simply lacking in time, lawyer negotiation is a fantastic option. Your divorce lawyer will conduct the negotiation on your behalf based on your instructions to them. In most cases, a full day of mediation is scheduled to assist matters to resolve.

Mediation with Lawyers – In some situations, mediation with lawyers is a necessity and cannot be avoided. When this occurs, you will need an experienced team to help guide you through the various court systems and processes. At Oxford Partners, our numerous years of Court experience help to place you in a position to get the best result.

Kitchen Table Negotiations - As the name suggests, this form of mediation is often conducted between parties without a lawyer or representative present. Once an amicable agreement is reached, your lawyer will prepare the necessary documents to put the agreement into effect and make it legally binding.

Be Organised and Prepared

Another simple tip that will help alleviate family lawyer costs is to ensure that you are always organised and well prepared. This means efficiently retrieving and organising all necessary documents including personal and financial information. This will greatly reduce the amount of time you spend and will assist your lawyer in speeding up the process for you.

Some common documents that you may need to get organised include:
  • Bank account statements
  • Tax returns
  • Superannuation statements
  • Valuations and appraisal of assets
  • Details of financial resources including child support, trusts or other payments
  • Inheritances, compensation, payouts or claims
  • Personal debts and liabilities
Do note that the above list is generalised, and your lawyer will be able to give you a more detailed list according to your individual circumstances.

Keep Communication Lines Open

Keeping communication lines open not just between you and your spouse, but also between you and your lawyer is key. This means responding to emails or phone calls in a timely fashion and ensuring that you provide your lawyer with all necessary documentation sooner rather than later. Another key component that will help speed up the family law process is honesty. By being open and honest with your lawyer, he or she will be able to come up with the most effective plan of action that is of your highest benefit. Ensuring that your divorce lawyer is made aware of your personal and financial matters is the best way to avoid lengthy or drawn out proceedings that may end up costing you more than you anticipated.

How We Can Help

At Oxford Partners, we work closely with families throughout Australia, always striving to go above and beyond in the pursuit of justice for our clients. Our family law team provides practical, sensible and honest advice that focuses on your specific needs and requirements. Call us today at (03) 9670 7577 for a free 30 minute consultation or email us at admin@oxfordpartners.com.au

Impact of COVID-19

We understand that in these unprecedented times you may need to speak to a lawyer. 

We are available for conferences in person (ensuring appropriate social distancing is adhered to), by telephone or by email depending on your individual needs and circumstances.

Please contact us on 03 9670 7577 or by email at admin@oxfordpartners.com.au to speak to one of our solicitors today.