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How much should I pay for my separation or divorce?

1.  A simple, easy, amicable separation with minimal complications

When you choose to use lawyers, a simple, easy, amicable separation will cost each parent a minimum of approximately $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, then you could save money doing a lot of the paperwork yourself to cover Divorce, Financial and Parenting Orders.

You will need to have fairly strong communication skills to deal with any differences that come up. Those differences need to be dealt with a lot of patience, self-calming strategies and a ‘penchant’ for paperwork!

There is a responsibility for you to ensure your agreements are solid, detailed, watertight. The agreements need to meet the requirements of the Family Law Act. Further on you need formal agreements in place to organise legal transactions for transfer of mortgages and other financial consequences of the separation or divorce.

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. What if you are not on the same page but want to avoid

spending all our money on lawyers?

A lawyer-led separation which only involves negotiations to work out differences and doesn’t proceed to court, will still cost each parent an average $10,000.

It’s normal for exes to not know how to work things out amicably, hwoever you can still avoid bringing in the lawyers.

If you each have a legal representative, following a fairly prescriptive ‘back and forth negotiation’ format, everything will be double-handled. As a result you are paying twice as much for that service.

Parent to Parent Mediation is an option. With these mediation sessions it is more often than not fairly hard to have positive outcome in 1 or 2 face-to-face meetings. There is often with 3 months wait period for getting your first intake, not even with the other party involved. Within these hourly sessions, more often than not you won’t even be able to cover the crucial everyday challenges of communication with your ex-partner. Setting up clear boundaries of communication is imperative to a healthy communication between the parties. This will benefit the kids involved immensely.

You can save yourself an enormous amount of money, time and stress by avoiding lawyers and the court system.

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. This process takes longer than 12 months and is likely to be drawn out several years. You will end up with strangers making rulings about your kids future. The judge, the magistrate and the 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.