Who pays for legal representation in court regarding child-related matters?
Understand who pays for legal representation in child-related court matters. Learn about costs, court orders, and when one party may pay the other's fees. Contact us for expert legal advice.

Who must pay for the Application made?

In all family law proceedings in the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia, the Court's position is that each party bear (pay) their own costs of the Application that has been made.

What are ‘costs’ and why does the Court make an order for them?

The Court can make an Order for costs to be paid by one party to the other if a parties conduct is unreasonable e.g. the Application is vexatious / bound to fail, they will not provide necessary disclosure, won't comply with the Court Rules and Procedures or Orders or generally will not properly engage in the Court process.

Can costs be ordered after an Interim Hearing?

Also if a Court has to arrange an Interim Hearing to determine an interim / current dispute and the Application to address the interim issue is not considered reasonable or appropriate or that there was not reasonable prospects of success the Court may Order the "losing party" pay the "winning" parties costs. An example of this is where a reasonable offer for spending time is made by one party and rejected by the other meaning the Interim Hearing is needed but the rejection is not reasonable in the circumstances.

Can costs be ordered after a Final Hearing?

An Order can also be made for costs where a matter goes to a Final Hearing after a party makes an offer (also known as a Calderbank offer) to settle and the other party rejected it because the offering party "beat" or achieved a better outcome than was offered. The Court can then Order that the "loosing" party pay the costs of the "winning" party from the date the offer was made.

Overall though, parties should expect to meet their own legal fees unless in extraordinary circumstances.

If you have any further queries regarding costs or payment responsibilities throughout proceedings, please contact us on 07 2113 4645 to organise your initial consultation with a Solicitor.
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