The Family Law Court is normally a ‘no costs’ jurisdiction. Thus meaning the general position is that each party in Family Law Court proceedings bear his or her own costs regardless of the outcome. There are exceptions to this rule. By way of an example, in appeals, the Court may make Orders that the unsuccessful party pay all or some of the legal fees incurred by successful party in bringing or defending the appeal.
The Perth Family Law Court also has discretion to make such Orders as to costs and security for costs as it considers just. In deciding whether and how to exercise its discretion, the Court considers a raft of factors, including but not limited to, the parties’ financial circumstances, their conduct in relation to the proceedings, and the extent to which any party was unsuccessful in the proceedings.
Having made these points, the exceptions to the general position are few, and we would usually encourage clients considering Perth Family Law Court proceedings to do so on the basis that their costs would not be recoverable.
This may be important if you are considering Family Law Court proceedings. Excessive legal fees could reduce the value of the asset pool of the marriage or relationship and may have other undesirable effects on the practical aspects of a matter. To use an extreme example, it could be that you may spend $10,000 on making a particular argument in the Perth Family Law Court, to achieve a net result of a $1,000 increase in the asset pool, and little scope for recovering your costs.
Generally, it is difficult to estimate the costs of Family Court litigation due to the number of variables that may affect the conduct of that litigation. It is, however, important to obtain some idea of what litigation could cost, even if it is just a range, so that you can make an informed decision as to how best to progress your matter.
If you would like to know more about costs in Family Court proceedings, please contact Balmoral Legal on (08) 9355 0776 and speak to one of our experienced solicitors.
Please note that the above comments are provided by way of general information only and do not constitute specific legal advice. If you would like further information in relation to this matter or other legal matters please contact one of our experienced solicitors on (08) 9355 0776