How We Charge

Need some clarification about how legal fees work?

We operate under a clear framework of how we charge for the work we do. We offer fixed fees wherever we can to help you understand and budget for legal fees.

See below for information about how we charge and the things you can do to manage the cost of your Family Law case.

How do legal fees work at Delaney Roberts Specialist Family Lawyers?

Initial appointment

You can book a stand-alone initial appointment with one (1) of our Specialist Family Lawyers for $350. This appointment lasts 90-minutes and by the end of it you will have a clear idea about your rights and responsibilities, what your likely outcome is and the next steps you need to take.

Fixed fee services

While most legal services are charged by the hour, we have fixed fee services available to you for limited tasks or where you have reached an agreement with your ex-partner and you need us to prepare the documentation to make the agreement binding.

These might be for:

  • Parenting arrangements (an agreement can be documented as a Parenting Plan or as an agreement that is filed with the Court (Consent Orders),
  • Property division (an agreement can be documented as a Financial Agreement or as an agreement that is filed with the Court (Consent Orders),
  • Mediation, and
  • Divorce.

Already in agreement, but want it to be legally binding so that you can move on?

Family Law Fixed Fee Services

The benefits of our Fixed Fee Family Law Services include they result in a legally-binding outcome without delay, they are well-priced for the cost conscious, they avoid the need for Court, and they keep things amicable between the parties.

From $1,100 Incl GST

Family Law Fixed Fee Services


Work charged at an hourly rate

When your case does not fit into one of the fixed fee services above, like most firms, we charge for the time it takes to do the work required on your file. This is because it isn’t possible to know how much work is going to be required at the start of the case. Some cases resolve within weeks, others take over a year to conclude; there are many variables that affect how much work is going to be required including how co-operative your ex is and how their lawyer operates.

Our lawyers have standard industry rates of $400 to $600 (per hour). The work that is charged at the lawyer’s hourly rate is all work that advances your case. This is likely to include: phone calls with you or your ex-partner’s lawyer, reading and responding to emails, preparing Court documents, preparing for and attending Court, preparing and reviewing evidence such as statements (Affidavits) and documents. Generally, where a case takes longer to resolve or you have more contact with your lawyer, the fees will be higher.

For Example

Simple case taking 1 month to resolve $3,500
Average case taking 6 months to resolve (without going to Court) $10,000
Average case taking 6 months to resolve (including going to Court) $20,000
Complex case taking 2 years to resolve and Court proceedings to a final judgment $80,000

We will provide a Legal Services Agreement to you for your consideration before we do any work for you charged at an hourly rate

Lawyers must disclose how they charge and give an estimate of the likely costs for the work before they do the work. Before we start doing work for your, we will provide you with an Engagement Letter and a Legal Services Agreement that thoroughly explains how we charge and gives an estimate of how much we think your fees will be.

How to minimise your legal fees

This is likely to be the first time you have had to engage a lawyer so it may be difficult to know what you can do to minimise your legal fees. Here are some things you can do to help keep your fees to a minimum:

Understand time costing

Lawyers and Accountants (and any other professionals using time-costing) record the work it takes to do a task on your file in 6-minute units (ie. Each hour consists of 10 lots of 6-minute units). Generally, a time-costing agreement will provide that if a task takes less than 6 minutes to complete, your Lawyer is still entitled to charge the full 6 minutes. Also, the digital timesheets that are used to enter a description of the work and the time it took usually don’t allow entries of less than 6 minutes.

Avoid contacting your Family Lawyer multiples times per day unless absolutely necessary

Each time your Lawyer receives an email/call from you, they will record the time it takes for them to answer the call or to respond to your email. This may mean that you are charged for 6 minutes of work each time you make a brief phone call to your Lawyer and this quickly adds up. It is much more time-efficient (and cost-effective) if you put all your comments or concerns into one email or book a brief phone appointment, so everything can be dealt with at one time, rather than in lots of little contacts.