Property settlements are all about dividing what net assets are available.  There is inevitably pressure from each spouse to maximise the net assets they each want to receive or retain.  Obviously what assets exist before separation cannot be duplicated and is instead going to result in an individual having less than they did as a couple.  One of the ways to increase your share of your assets is to keep your legal fees to a minimum so you do not pay more than you need to.

While good legal advice is essential, there are a variety of ways to ensure the money you spend on legal fees is worthwhile and avoid spending money wastefully by:-

  1. Following the advice of your solicitor  Solicitors are paid to best represent your interests.  Most family law solicitors try and achieve the best outcome in the most cost effective manner.  Good solicitors do not just give advice that you want to hear or advice that pleases you but give advice that is what they think will happen pursuant to the law.  Arguing with your solicitor or pursuing goals which are unattainable are more likely to just increase your fees.  Good solicitors will tell you points and arguments to pursue when there is merit in doing so.
  2. Promptly complying with requests from your solicitor for information, documents or instructions.  It makes no sense to spend money having your solicitor chasing information from you.
  3. Getting information yourself where possible from the source directly instead of seeking the information from your ex.  Sometimes your spouse may have information that you need but if you are having trouble getting the information from them it makes much more sense from a cost perspective to get the information from the source eg getting the bank statements from the bank or documents from the accountant rather than sending requests through solicitors.

While this may be common sense remembering these points will ensure you save yourself legal fees which will mean you will have more left for you at the end.

Please do not hesitate to contact our office on (07) 4963 2000 or via our online contact form should you have any queries or wish to seek advice.

James Bailey
Partner
Family Law