How Much Does a Custody Lawyer Cost in Australia?

Updated on April 14, 2024

    Lauren Spence Family Lawyer Sydney

    About the Author

    Lauren Spence

    Lauren started legal work at a start-up law firm where she gained first-hand assisting with litigated family and criminal law matters. This included research tasks, appearing in the Local Court, and compiling evidence for a Family Court appeal.

    Lauren started legal work at a start-up law firm where she gained first-hand assisting with litigate... Read More

    Lauren Spence Family Lawyer Sydney

    Lauren Spence

    Lauren is a passionate family lawyer who genuinely appreciates the emotional difficulty that comes with divorce and separation. Since her admission as a solicitor of the Supreme Court of NSW, Lauren has practiced almost exclusively in the area of divorce and family law.

    Key Takeaways:

    • The cost of working with a custody lawyer will depend on a variety of factors unique to your case, including whether your matter involves going to court and the experience of the lawyer.
    • A family lawyer is the type of lawyer you need to help you in child custody matters or any legal matters that affect your children. A family lawyer can also help when you divorce, divide property and in many other matters.
    • While working with a lawyer can be expensive, in many cases engaging the services of a lawyer can actually save you time and money, helping you to resolve your disputes where you achieve the best outcome and in a timely manner.

    Child custody lawyers and family law matters in Australia

    When people need the services of a child custody lawyer (or any other lawyer for that matter) one of the first thoughts to cross their minds, is how much is a child custody lawyer going to cost? and how much does a family lawyer cost?

    This is completely understandable, especially given that many people are aware that legal fees and the services of a lawyer can be expensive.

    As much as we would love to be able to tell you right now how much a lawyer is going to cost for your circumstances, we can’t give you an exact dollar figure as every case is different. What we can do though, is to help you understand the various factors that can influence the costs of a lawyer’s services.

    Today, we’re going to first talk about legal fees and lawyers generally, and then what you need to know about working with a child custody lawyer, including when you may need to engage with one and the benefits of doing so.

    So, whether you’re looking for a lawyer now to help with a child custody dispute or you’re considering engaging with one in the future, keep reading to learn more.

    How much does it cost to work with a lawyer?

    The costs associated with hiring a family lawyer in Australia will vary depending on a variety of factors, including:

    • The area of law that you need assistance with;
    • The complexity of your matter;
    • The fee structure of the lawyer and law firm;
    • If your matter involves filing documents or applications;
    • If your matter needs to go to Court; and
    • The experience of the lawyer.

    Many lawyers charge for time spent on your matter, and often this is at an hourly rate.

    In Australia, a lawyer’s fees may start at around $200 for a less experienced lawyer and can be as high as $600 per hour for a highly specialised and experienced lawyer.

    Child Custody Lawyers in Australia

    What kind of lawyer do I need for a child custody and/or children’s matters?

    To ensure you’re getting the best and most accurate information for your situation, you need to work with a family lawyer who specialises in child custody and children’s matters.

    The legal system in Australia is very vast and complex, with a multitude of areas and specialisations. Children’s matters and parenting disputes fall under the area of family law, with the Family Law Act providing the legislation.

    What does a family lawyer do?

    A family lawyer helps to resolve legal issues that may arise in family relationships or have an impact on families. Often these issues are caused by the breakdown of a marriage or relationship, however, they may have other causes.

    Some of the common matters a family lawyer will deal with include:

    A family lawyer needs to be able to advise, negotiate and represent their clients, and this requires not only a vast knowledge of the family law system in Australia, but also a great deal of emotional understanding.

    Many issues a family lawyer helps to resolve can have a deeply personal impact on the people involved and can change their future dramatically.

    What does a family lawyer who specialises in children’s matters, like child custody, do?

    A family lawyer may help a parent or both parents of a child/children to make decisions regarding shared parenting responsibilities, as well as decisions about the access to children, guardianship, relocation, child support and living arrangements for the child/ren.

    It is not uncommon for parents to disagree on various aspects of how a child is to be raised and where they are to live, and a family lawyer can help resolve these disputes and disagreements.

    When a lawyer specialises in children’s matters, it is their responsibility to ensure that decisions made about any of these matters is in the best interests of the child/children. According to the Family Law Act, decisions regarding children are not about the rights of the parents, rather it’s the rights of the child and the responsibility of the parents, with the focus being that the child/ren is protected from harm.

    This can often be difficult for parents to understand or accept as they may believe they have certain rights. A child custody lawyer can help you understand what your legal rights and responsibilities are and allow you to understand the various options available to you when it comes to your child/ren.

    What kinds of scenarios would I need to be involved in to need the services of a child custody lawyer?

    To engage with a child custody family lawyer, you do not need to wait to be involved in a dispute. A family lawyer can provide you with advice at any point, so even if you’re only contemplating a separation, you can discuss this with a family lawyer at any point. They can provide you with information and options from a legal standpoint.

    Most commonly, the parents of a child will need to work with a child custody lawyer following a separation or divorce as they are unable to agree on parenting arrangements.

    The parents may disagree on where the child will live, when the child will see each parent and how much time they will have together, financial support for the child, where the child will live, and medical decisions about the child.

    You might also need the services of a child custody lawyer for matters that are even more serious, such as if the other parent has taken the child without permission and/or you’re unable to locate the child, if you believe that your child may be in danger, or if your ex-partner is denying your visitation rights.

    Even if you and the other parent of your child do agree on your parenting arrangements, it doesn’t hurt to seek advice from a child custody lawyer. A parenting arrangement might work successfully for a while, but over time, complications that are difficult to resolve can arise. By working with a lawyer who specialises in children’s matters, you may be able to help you avoid this from occurring. They can review your proposed arrangement, make you aware of your legal responsibilities and even provide you with alternative options too.

    What are the benefits of working with a lawyer who specialises in children’s matters?

    While a divorce or separation can be emotionally taxing, when it involves a child or children, it can take this stress to a whole new level. It can often be difficult to see all of the potential solutions available because emotions can quickly cloud judgement.

    A lawyer who specialises in children’s matters like child support and child custody issues understands the rights and responsibilities of all parties in all kinds of children’s matters from the legal perspective and can provide advice from an empathetic and compassionate standpoint.

    Some other benefits that come from working with a parenting and children’s matters lawyer include:

    • Guidance through paperwork
    • Court representation (if required)
    • Negotiation of various matters, like child support rates, custody arrangements
    • Adherence to time limits and deadlines
    • Expert legal advice on all kinds of parenting and children’s matters

    The most important benefit that comes from working with a family lawyer who specialises in parenting and children’s matters is that your child’s best interests are represented. All decisions about you and your child’s futures should be made based on this, and a great family lawyer can help to ensure that this occurs.

    How you can keep your legal costs downs

    If you are considering engaging with a custody lawyer or any kind of lawyer, there are some things you can do to keep your costs low. Here are some of our suggestions:

    Provide as much information as possible

    You need to provide as much as detail as possible when it comes to your circumstances. Even if you’re not sure whether something is relevant, if you think it could impact your situation, give this information to your lawyer. If you leave pieces of the puzzle out, it can make it a lot more time consuming and difficult for a lawyer to provide you with the most correct and accurate advice.

    If possible, aim to resolve issues outside of court

    Whilst it is not always possible to come to an agreement without court intervention, when you work with an experienced family lawyer, you might find that even the most acrimonious situation can be resolved without the need to go to court. Going to court can make the process take a lot longer, feel a lot more stressful, and be costly.

    Use your Free consultation

    Many lawyers, including child custody lawyers, offer a free consultation. As family law matters can be very personal and emotional, it’s a great time for you to feel out the lawyer and law firm and ultimately see if they are the right fit for you. It’s also a great time for you to ask a lot of questions about your circumstances. Make a list of questions before your consultation and think about the different scenarios that may arise from these questions. You want to provide your family lawyer with as much detail as you can during the consultation to ensure their advice is relevant to your situation.

    Do you need a child custody lawyer?

    Whether you’ve recently separated from your partner, you’re wanting to understand the implications a divorce or separation has on your parenting responsibilities, or you’re experiencing issues in your current parenting plan, you can discuss your family law matter with our experienced child custody and parenting matters lawyers.

    At Unified Lawyers, we pride ourselves on our ability to provide solutions and outcomes that are in the best interests of our clients and their children. We want you to feel empowered and understood when you work with us, which is why we provide empathetic, compassionate and highly engaged family law services.

    Discuss your children and parenting matters with our child custody lawyers today.

    Lauren Spence Family Lawyer Sydney

    Lauren Spence

    Lauren is a passionate family lawyer who genuinely appreciates the emotional difficulty that comes with divorce and separation. Since her admission as a solicitor of the Supreme Court of NSW, Lauren has practiced almost exclusively in the area of divorce and family law.

    “All materials throughout this entire website has been prepared by Unified Lawyers for informational purposes only. All materials throughout this entire website are not legal advice and should not be interpreted as legal advice. We do not guarantee that any of the information on this website is current or correct.
    You should seek specialist legal advice or other professional advice about your specific circumstances.
    All information on this site is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute a lawyer-client relationship between you and Unified lawyers.
    Information on this site is not updated regularly and so may not be up to date.”

    Response within 30 minutes during business hours