We have to pay $4000 in Legal Fees & that's just the start!

@jennybianca (12914)
Australia
April 9, 2008 8:58pm CST
As some of you know, my husband wants to get more contact time with his kids. He wants 50% of school holidays, which is his right. Mediation between him & his ex wife failed. So the lawyer is filing a court claim on his behalf. They just contracted us yesterday & said that we needed to put $4000 in their Trust account before charges would be filed in the Family Court of Australia. I knew this was coming, but I was putting it to the back of my mind, hoping it would just go away. In my opinion, it is not worth it, but hubby wants more access to his kids. If it goes to full Court trial, it could cost $10,000. Have you ever had to pay high Court Fees, or Lawyers fees? What is your experience of Lawyers & courts, especially Family Courts?
4 people like this
17 responses
@minnie_98214 (10572)
• United States
10 Apr 08
wow and we thought $250 was bad to pay for my hubbys case to be opened. I went thru a nasty divorce and lucky for me my fees were all paid as I had no income when he left me. But my ex on the other hand had a heck of a lot of fees to pay. And he got nothing he wanted in the end. He sees his kids every other weekend but I agreed to that before the divorce lol.
3 people like this
@jennybianca (12914)
• Australia
10 Apr 08
My hubbys divorce was nasty too, so was my brothers a bit. Kind of silly when ex's can't do it amicably, but what other option is there if one ex is nasty.
1 person likes this
@avonrep1 (1862)
• United States
10 Apr 08
It is expensive, but to say it is not worth it, is saying his kids are not important enough to be in his life. Money doesn't matter when it is your children. If he wants more access to his children, he is going to have fees associated with that. No offense to you or anything, but the way you say it is not worth it, is like you don't want his children around more. Because if it were me, I would give every dime I had to have more access to my children.
2 people like this
@jennybianca (12914)
• Australia
10 Apr 08
Actually, I dont really want his children around anymore. But you would need to see some previous discussions of mine to know why, as there is no point going into it here. Needless to say I support my hubby, even if his kids have caused terrible trouble, to pay for his lawyer myself.
1 person likes this
@webeishere (36353)
• United States
10 Apr 08
I have to agree jenny. I've read the discussions and am familiar with the whole situation. That's why I didn't say anything about it in my response. You are definitely in a bind in this whole thing and it is so heart wrenching to say the least. Sotty and good luck in it all. HAPPY POSTINGS FROM GRANDPA BOB !!~
1 person likes this
@jennybianca (12914)
• Australia
11 Apr 08
Thank you Bob.
@sedel1027 (17854)
• United States
10 Apr 08
Wow that is crazy expensive! I have gone to court 3 times with my lawyer, made multiple phone calls, email requests etc and still have over half of my initial $5,000 retainer fee left. I put that down January 2006. Personally, family court is tricky. Your lawyer needs to know the judges and how they view things. I have always been nervous and come out ahead. For the most part, I see them as fair, but I did win a case that I was not 100% I would win. After my ex having custody of our son for 2-3 years, we came into custody and when we went to court, we got full custody. I know family court can be a nightmare. You need to be 100% truthful and provide details about your life (especially financially) that you may not want to be revealed. Go in being prepared for a full head on battle, wish for the best, but always plan for the worst.
2 people like this
@jennybianca (12914)
• Australia
10 Apr 08
This is very good advice. I think our lawyer does know some of the judges as she makes references to them. My hubbys last court case with his ex(in 2004), he won. How did your ex get custody of your son for 2 to 3 years initially?
1 person likes this
@sedel1027 (17854)
• United States
10 Apr 08
When we first separated, I was unable to support myself and my son and my ex was able to. However, even though he provided for him and lived with him, I had him at my Mom's house because he was always out of town. Even now, there is no way he could even get him back between work, lack of money and where he lives. For example, this summer he is only home for one week in June, July & August.
1 person likes this
10 Apr 08
hey, how do you dit ?
@tessah (6621)
• United States
10 Apr 08
not sure how it works over there, but here i do beleive that you can recover court and legal fees from the other party if you win your case. good luck in court.. its nice to see that a father actually WANTS to have time with his children.. and this ex of his thats trying to keep him from them makes the rest of the female population just look bad.
2 people like this
@jennybianca (12914)
• Australia
11 Apr 08
Sometimes that is the case regarding fees, but apparently in Family Court matters usually one can not recover fees from the other party, although we are trying anyway.
@subha12 (18453)
• India
10 Apr 08
i personally do not have to pay. but sometimes its hard to pay that much fee. be it lawyers or doctors. its actually inhuman to pay that much. its thir living true, should they just extract money from common people like this?
2 people like this
@jennybianca (12914)
• Australia
11 Apr 08
I feel it is unfair to charge common people like us so far, to achieve something that is our right.
@lingli_78 (12844)
• Australia
10 Apr 08
that's really expensive... with that amount of money, i can use it to pay my mortgage... i know that lawyers and courts here are expensive... but i don't know that it will be that expensive...
2 people like this
@jennybianca (12914)
• Australia
11 Apr 08
The Lawyers we use are the top family court lawyers in Adelaide. They even have an office in China now. But, yes, it is a terrible price.
@CatsandDogs (13964)
• United States
10 Apr 08
Insane - to have to pay that darned much! Geeze
Gee mee christmas!! Dang! Are we in the wrong profession or what? I know schools cost a lot but geeze they do get paid off some time or another so are they allowed to charge so darned much?! That's just crazy but then if your husband wants to see his kids more often then unfortunetly that's what he's going to have to pay unless he can find another lawyer who doesn't charge so much. I feel for you, I really do. That's just insane.
2 people like this
@jennybianca (12914)
• Australia
10 Apr 08
It is a teribble price, but any good lawyer here would charge just as much. The lawyer has filed for costs (ie. the ex has to pay), but she said that almost is never successful.
1 person likes this
@aseretdd (13736)
• Philippines
10 Apr 08
That is so very expensive... that amount can put a child to two years of school in my country... but i understand your husband... he wants to spend more time with his kids... and money is not an option as long as he can be with them a lot more... if i were in his shoes... i would take the case to the ends of the earth... The last time i had experience with a lawyer was quite a pleasant one... because we did not need to pay anything since it was a pro bono case...
2 people like this
@jennybianca (12914)
• Australia
10 Apr 08
Yes, that amount would pay for one year of a private school & many years of a government school. It is a terrible cost & could well get higher, but hubby badly wants the kids during school holidays & to score a point over his ex.
1 person likes this
@gemini_rose (16194)
10 Apr 08
Wow, that is ridiculous, that is such a lot of money to get what is rightfully your husbands anyway, their his children for goodness sake and he has to pay that much to win what should be rightfully his!! I have never had to pay any fees like that out for any court things, but I would not be able to afford fees like that to see my own kids. It must be a terrible worry for you.
2 people like this
@faith210 (11233)
• Philippines
12 Apr 08
Hi jennybianca! I am just hoping for the best for you and your family. I never have any experience in Family Court but I know for a fact that we will soon be facing one in the near future if not now. My brother is experiencing the same thing as your hubby. He has a wicked and manipulative wife who keeps on telling lies to my brother's kids so that the kids will hate their father. My family and I have seen her wickedness and cruelty towards my brother and we can't blame my brother for leaving her but my brother loves his children very much and that is what the wife is using against my brother. As soon as we will be financially equipped, we will be helping my brother to clean this mess so my brother can see his children once again. I hope and pray that your husband will win the case and I am also praying that my brother will win his too when we file his case in court soon. Just my thoughts my friend! Take care always and have a nice day! :)
@jennybianca (12914)
• Australia
13 Apr 08
Yes, your brothers situation is very similar to ours. My hubbys ex has always really manipulated the kids into believing that we are very bad people, that we are unclean, etc. In the end, the kids are very influenced by this. I think it is great that you & your family will help you brother soon to get his kids back.
1 person likes this
@faith210 (11233)
• Philippines
13 Apr 08
Hi jen! True, it is very similar to yours. I will always be hoping and praying for both of our families. Take care and have a nice day my friend! :)
1 person likes this
@Thoroughrob (11750)
• United States
11 Apr 08
Yes, I have had that great experience. My daughters dad was a bad guy. I had to fight him, as he was trying to get custody of my daughter at age 7. It cost me $11,000 before it was dropped when he was arrested for molesting an 8 yr old.
1 person likes this
@jennybianca (12914)
• Australia
12 Apr 08
This is terrible. Our society does not make it fair for people in your situation, to have fulltime custody, or reasonable access,. when the other parent is crap.
@twoey68 (13651)
• United States
10 Apr 08
I hate to say it but your in for a most expensive ride on this one. My Hubby has a son by his previous marriage. The son is over 20, married and lives on his own with his wife. My Hubby still pays child support and will for another 3 years. Why? B/c child support enforcement screwed up and if he wants to fight it in court it would cost more to fight it then to just pay it and get it over with. Hubby's ex violated the divorce agreement regarding their son right, left and sideways and there was nothing Hubby could do b/c it costs a fortune for lawyers, courts and traveling. I hope your husband wins out but I sure hope you have deep pockets. **AT PEACE WITHIN** ~~STAND STRONG IN YOUR BELIEFS~~
1 person likes this
@jennybianca (12914)
• Australia
11 Apr 08
Yes, I know! That sucks actually, that your hubby has to pay support for an adult child over 20 years. That would only happen here if the adult child was at university. If he/she was living an independent life (regardless of study), support would no longer apply. Here, support ends at age 18 years, IF the child is no longer in fulltime education. My step son will still be at high school when he turns 18, so hubby will have to pay for a littlke longer. Ypour husband has my full sympathy.
@Fishmomma (11423)
• United States
10 Apr 08
I'm really sorry that this is happening to a good friend. There are no words I could post to make the situation better. I have never paid high court fees or lawyer fees. One of my friends in town divorced and what should have been a simple divorce became quite expensive and there were no children involved. The bad feelings on both sides became unbearable for me and I haven't spoken to either side in 6 months. My husband thinks I need to call her and invite her to lunch, as she was a good friend. I didn't like hearing the ugly things that came out at the divorce including affairs on both sides. I will be the first to admit the only reason I would ever leave my husband would be an affair. There is no reason to do that to another person. I'm upset with the friend mentioned because she had an affair first and then her ex-husband found out and had an affair with another woman I use to enjoy talking to on the telephone. They all don't realize this affected all of the friends, as none of us knows what to say to each other about it. I don't know if time will mend the friendships, but at this point I'm still really upset.
@jennybianca (12914)
• Australia
11 Apr 08
I can see your point, as yoiur friend wa somewhat hyprocritical in having an affair first, then wanting support from you. This is the reason my hubby left his ex in the first plasce, as she was having an affair before, during & imediately after he walked out.
• United States
10 Apr 08
Here in the USA that is not uncommon. We pay hundreds of dollars per hour for lawyers work. We pay hundres of dollars for a phone call or a simple paper to be filed. I am sorry this is happening to you guys. It is so hard for the children. They do need to see their father and he needs to see them. It is to bad that the ex does not see that. Good luck with all I hope for the sake of the chidren all turns out ok.
1 person likes this
@jennybianca (12914)
• Australia
11 Apr 08
Yes, I imagined it is much the same in the US regarding costs.
@webeishere (36353)
• United States
10 Apr 08
Well if this amount is added to a trust account it sounds like this may not be the total amount for this issue then. Possibly get most back if the case is won. Then again the laws and all are differne there than in the States. I have never dealt with family courts and issues but my daughter did throughout her divorce and it cost her ex a small fortune as well. tHIS IS A HUGE amount to pay. But then again it is his kids he wants more time with and guess if he wants them this badly he may end up paying dearly for this privelage. Sad but I guess thats how things go at times in these family situations. Good luck. I hope it doesn't cost a fortune either. HAPPY POSTINGS FROM GRANDPA BOB !!~
1 person likes this
@jennybianca (12914)
• Australia
11 Apr 08
Yes, it is a trust account & if hubbys ex capitualtes & hands over the children for half the school holidays, there may be a little money left. If it goes to full trial, it will cost around $10,00. Although we are sueing for costs as well, even though hubby will probably win, the courts very rarely allow costs in family court matters. Anyway, I have a sneaking suspicion that the ex is up to something, & will waste a lot of our money (and hers) trying to achieve it.
• United States
17 Oct 08
I just completed an 8 month long Custody battle with my ex-husband after retaining primary physical custody of our son for 4 years since we separated. It was the most overwhelming experience of my life. Needless to say, 8 months later and still no case, he decided to settle out of court. Unfortunately, by settling out of court, I could not sue him for my Attorney fees. I end up with a bill of $5,000 only for my ex husband to get one additional day per week on top of the every other weekend visitation that he was previously awarded. As much as it hurts financially, I would've sold everything I owned to know that he didn't have to go to his dad's fulltime. Custody battles are ugly, and in most cases, the mother always has the upper hand. Watch out for dirty lawyers though. Custody battles are all about smear campaigns. My Attorney gave me the best advice ever though........he said, "The Judge is not looking at the questions that are asked to you, but rather your responses (both verbally and nonverbally) to the questions that are asked". Remember that and GOOD LUCK!! God Bless!
@stephcjh (32327)
• United States
29 Jul 08
We have not had to pay these high court fees, thank God. My husband had to go to court with his ex several times over child custody, child support and you name it also. His kids do not even want to see him even though their mom cheated on him and she married that guy while their dad was in the Army for seventeen years. He never had a lawyer and she won everything.