Fam­ily Court lawyers goug­ing par­ents

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - NEWS -

LAWYERS are goug­ing mil­lions of dol­lars from di­vorc­ing Aus­tralians, rack­ing up Fam­ily Court le­gal bills big­ger than what their as­sets are worth.

Among the out­ra­geous fees are bar­ris­ter charges of tens of thou­sands of dol­lars for work they don’t do. More than half of the roughly 50,000 Aus­tralians who end up in court for fam­ily law cases each year now find them­selves with­out a lawyer be­cause they can’t af­ford it.

Fam­ily court prac­ti­tion­ers are now the most com­plained about lawyers in ev­ery ju­ris­dic­tion.

Chief Jus­tice of the Fam­ily Court, Will Al­ster­gen, said with­out mak­ing com­ment on any par­tic­u­lar cases or prac­tices “it is of great con­cern that up to 60 per cent of lit­i­gants find them­selves un­rep­re­sented dur­ing the course of lit­i­ga­tion”.

The fed­eral govern­ment, which re­cently moved to es­tab­lish a Se­nate in­quiry into fam­ily law is par­tic­u­larly out­raged by a rip-off known as “dis­ap­point­ment fees” which can see bar­ris­ters charg­ing up to $14,000 a day for weeks af­ter cases set­tle.

At­tor­ney-Gen­eral Chris­tian Porter said the govern­ment had a plan to fix the bro­ken fam­ily law sys­tem.

Chris­tian Porter.

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