How we charge

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At Emera Smith Family Law our approach is to focus on settlements rather than arguments. Our philosophy is to work with you to settle matters. By working this way, we aim to keep legal costs down and to enable parties to move on with their lives sooner rather than later.

Costs agreements

Before we start working with you, we will send you a cost agreement that sets out our terms of engagement and our charges.

For hourly rate matters, we will provide an estimate of your total legal costs and third-party charges like valuation fees or fees payable to a mediator. For fixed fee matters we will set out the agreed fee and provide an estimate for any additional stages that may become necessary.

Our payment options

We offer the following payment options:

  • Hourly rates
  • Fixed fee options
  • Deferred payments

Hourly rates

This method of charging means that you pay for the time we spend working on your matter. This is the most common method that family lawyers use to charge. We will generally offer hourly rate charging arrangements for negotiations or if the matter proceeds to Court.

Fixed fees

This is where we agree on a fixed fee for the work to be undertaken.

We will also discuss and agree the scope of work so that there is clarity about the work to be performed.

We generally offer fixed-fee pricing for divorce matters, consent orders where an agreement has already been reached, Wills and Powers of Attorney.

Deferred payments

In some cases, we will offer deferred payment options and payment plans. You should speak with your lawyer at your first appointment to see if this is an option for you.

We will keep you informed

We will give you advice about how you can try to keep costs down and keep you up to date with what’s owing and any future costs.

We also send invoices along the way so that you can keep up to date with payments.

We will be transparent about costs and charges throughout your time working with us. If at any time during your case you have a question about costs, you should not hesitate to speak with your lawyer about it.

How can we help you today?

03 8625 8957

We're here to help you move forward with your legal matter. Understanding where you stand by getting the right advice early will give you clarity and certainty.

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