How much should I pay for my separation or divorce?
1. A simple, easy, amicable separation with minimal complications
Using lawyers, a simple, easy, amicable separation will cost each parent a minimum of approx. $5000.
If you and your ex are ‘on the same page’, are able to make decisions together and have fairly similar views about what is best for your kids, you could save money doing a lot of the paperwork yourself to cover Divorce, Financial Orders and Parenting Orders.
You will need to have fairly strong communication skills to deal with any differences that come up. And patience, self-calming strategies and a ‘penchant’ for paperwork!
You also have responsibility to ensure your agreements are solid, detailed and watertight and meet the requirements of the Family Law Act, organise legal transactions for transfer of mortgages etc.
Step by Step’s Light (uncomplicated) package is even cheaper than DIY. You will receive support for any communication issues that arise. You’ll end up with a child-inclusive parenting and/or financial agreement. Step by Step is peace of mind professional support for your family’s well-being.
2. Not on the same page but want to avoid court and spending all our money
A lawyer-led separation which involved negotiations to work out differences and doesn’t proceed to court will still cost each parent an average of upwards of $10,000.
It’s normal for ex’s to not know how to work things out amicably, but it’s still not necessary to bring in the lawyers.
If you each have a legal representative, following a fairly prescriptive ‘back and forth’ ‘negotiation’ format, everything is double-handled, and your family is paying ‘twice’ for that service.
Parent to Parent Mediation is an option for some, but a positive outcome is a lot to expect from just 1 or 2 face-to-face meetings, often with 3 months wait, and not getting to the crux of the many everyday challenges you are facing with communication and co-parenting.
You still have the choice to save an enormous amount of money, time and stress, and to invest in an option that is tailor made for your family. Step by Step’s Choppy option is better value financially and emotionally in these circumstances.
3. We’ve got no choice. The lawyers can sort this out
Expect to pay between $30 000 to $100 000 each because you each have a lawyer, and possibly barristers, to ‘settle’ matters in a way that the legal profession refer to as a ‘lose-lose’ outcome.
This process does damage, if not destroy any motivation for parents to get on for their kids’ sake. It takes longer than 12 months and likely several years to be resolved and you end up with strangers making rulings about your family’s future. The judge / magistrate / legal team don’t know your family, they are just being paid to ‘do their job’ which is to make legal determinations.
No-one wants to be in this situation, but for some reason people default to it much too hastily. They end up disempowered, overwhelmed and resentful, as well as watching their family’s finances and future paid to lawyers and barristers
Step by Step Support’s customised approach works through the roadblocks and parental conflict and power imbalances. Kids deserve for their parents to be able to ‘agree to disagree’, and move on. Parents deserve that even if things aren’t rosy, for enough to be ‘resolved’ so there is a workable Parenting Agreement. You will also benefit from legal advice but not need to be consumed in the protracted and stressful legal ‘system’. You’ll save a huge amount of money.