It is virtually impossible to predict exactly how much a family law matter will cost. It depends upon how much time it has taken your lawyer to do the necessary work. This varies significantly depending on a number of factors such as:
- The complexity of your matter;
- The cooperation of the other party and their legal representative;
- Family dynamics and the involvement of other parties such as adult children or new partners;
- The methods involved to reach a dispute such as negotiation, mediation, collaboration and/or court litigation.
The average hourly rate our for family lawyers ranges from $265 to $495 (exclusive of GST) per hour.
Try to achieve a balance between keeping costs reasonable and receiving high quality service from your lawyer, focus on the legal issues. If you are struggling with the separation or finding yourself under stress, don’t hesitate to seek assistance from a counsellor or other trained professional. Don’t rely on your friends or family to be your lawyer or counsellor. They are there to provide support, while professionals are there to help you using their expertise.
No-one ever budgets for family law costs so whatever the cost it can seem expensive and there are rarely any winners in family law – just varying degrees of loss. You should consider what you wish the outcome to be and whether you can achieve it without legal guidance.
Finally, remember that costs are not purely financial; the emotional and physical costs of family law proceedings should not be underestimated.