Terms & Conditions
Online Divorce Terms & Conditions
We aim to give you the best possible legal service we can. This includes keeping you fully informed about your matter.
This letter is to confirm your instructions and to provide you with information about our firm and what you can expect from us.
We are required by the Legal Profession Uniform Law (NSW) and the Family Law Rules 2004 to set out the terms and conditions of our engagement. These are as follows:
1. Your Instruction:
We confirm your instructions that you wish us to act on your behalf with respect to your Divorce application.
2. Our Promise
Immediately upon receipt of your instructions (on line application) as well as the payment of our flat fee professional fee in the amount of $800.00 including GST we will:
- Prepare a draft Divorce Application on your behalf;
- Forward a copy back to you for your approval, and if accepted, execution;
- File the application on your behalf once you have returned it to us with all necessary requirements fulfilled;
- Serve a sealed copy of the Application on your spouse once it has been returned from the court (1 attempt on 1 address only included in this price);
- File an Affidavit of service with the court on your behalf confirming the above;
- Advise you as to the proposed hearing date of your application and provide you with sealed copies of all relevant documents;
- PLEASE NOTE.. attendance at the hearing on your behalf is NOT included in this price, however you have the option of using our services (within the Sydney Metropolitan Area) for a guaranteed flat fee of $850.00 including GST.
Any Extra Costs?
We have attempted to provide you with a clear, straight forward and down to earth approach, with no “hidden fees”.
As stated on this site, the “flat fee” does not cover any additional services. For example, if you are required to file or prepare any Affidavits due to your individual circumstances, or if there are issues surrounding the service of your application, such as the wrong address or the whereabouts of your spouse is un-known. Unfortunately the “flat fee” does not cover these.
If the above situation arises, we shall provide you with a further competitive price for the additional services.
3. The Firm:
Your matter will be handled by one of our qualified solicitors, under the supervision and instruction of Mr Peter Maatouk, who is the principal of this firm.
4. Our Communication Policy:
We aim to keep you as fully informed as possible. We will advise you by telephone or by email:
- when any documentation has been filed in the Court;
- when your application has been served;
- when we receive any documentation from the other party;
- if the other party indicate that they wish to dispute your
5. How You Can Help Us
We are providing a service for you, but we can only act on your instructions. You can assist us by:
- giving clear instructions;
- telling us if you have any important time limits;
- making sure we understand your instructions and you understand our advice. Never hesitate to clarify anything;
- telling us promptly if any important questions arise;
- asking for a progress report if you are unsure what is happening;
- making sure you understand our costs policy so we both clearly understand the basis on how the matter is to proceed.
6. Our Fees Policy
We will charge you for our work and expenses at the rates specified on this website as well as under the heading Our Promise, in these terms and conditions:
We note that the costs involved in your application are as follows:
- Online divorce application fee $800.00 This fee is non refundable once you have registered to use our services.
- Court Filing fee for application $865.00 Payable unless exemption or concession applies. Refer to web-site, subject to change.
- Optional Solicitor attendance at hearing of application $850.00 Refundable only if cancelled 1 month prior to hearing date
- Extra Affidavits or Service issues $POA
- Appearance or attendance at hearing outside Sydney $POA
- A small service fee for paypal in the amount of $30.00 is also payable
7. Goods And Services Tax (GST)
All professional fees and expenses referred to above are inclusive of GST. GST will not be added to our fees and expenses as appropriate, and will be payable by you with the balance of our fees and expenses.
Our bills of costs are prepared as Tax Invoices in accordance with the provisions of the GST legislation. Should you require additional copies of our invoices for any purpose, there will be an additional fee for their preparation, calculated in accordance with the terms in this retainer agreement.
8. Termination Of Our Retainer
We will not be able to continue to do the work in the following circumstances:
- if you do not pay our bills or you do not let us have funds on account of expenses;
- if you do not provide us with adequate instructions;
- if you indicate to us that we have lost your confidence, which may include circumstances where you refuse to accept an offer of settlement which we and Counsel recommend you accept.
Where possible we will give you at least fourteen (14) days notice of our intention to terminate our agreement and the grounds upon which such termination is based. You will be required to pay our fees and expenses incurred up to the date of such termination.
You may terminate this agreement in writing at any time. If you do so you will still be liable to pay our charges and expenses incurred up to the time of termination.
9.Engagement Of Counsel
It may be necessary for us to engage on your behalf the services of another lawyer to provide specialist advice or other services including advocacy services. We will consult you as to the terms of that lawyer?s engagement but you may be asked to enter into a fee agreement directly with that other lawyer or barrister. We will discuss this with you should the need arise.
10. Party And Party Fees
If, in the proceedings which this agreement relates, an order is made requiring another party to pay your fees of the proceedings, that order will not affect your liability to pay our fees and expenses under this agreement but any amount recovered under that order may be applied towards satisfaction of our charges and expenses.
It is possible that the Court may make an order that you pay another party?s legal fees, which fees would be in addition to those payable to us under this agreement, if any.
11. Your Right To A Bill Of Costs And To Have A Bill Reviewed
You are entitled to receive a bill of costs. Please refer to the Notice of Rights link on this site. Our fees are not charged in accordance with the Family Court Scale. We note that our fees are based on a flat service fee.
We will charge interest on our costs, at the expiration of thirty (30) days after the bill is sent to you, at the rate specified in the Family Law Rules.
12. Retention Of Documents
On completion of the work we will retain any papers to which you are entitled (except documents deposited in safe custody) for no more than seven (7) years. We note that we have your authority to destroy the file seven (7) years after the date the final bill is rendered by us in this matter. You should also note that we are entitled to retain possession of your papers and documents while there are monies owing to us for charges and expenses.
13. If You Have Any Problems
We strive to provide our clients with the best available service but if you feel we should do more please tell us your concerns.
If you do not think it is appropriate to raise an issue with the Solicitor handling the matter for you, please contact Mr Maatouk the principal of our firm.
14. Acceptance Of This Arrangement
To accept this arrangement, please tick the acknowledgment box at the end of your application. We note that we will not be able to process your application unless you have done this.
15. Financial And Taxation Advice
We profess no qualification to give financial (as distinct from legal) advice, and if you have any questions about any financial aspects in relation to this matter, you should seek independent financial advice before signing any documents, as our advice is confined to legal matters only.
Similarly, we profess no qualification to give taxation advice. If you have any questions regarding Goods and Services Tax or Capital Gains Tax or any question pertaining to Tax issues in relation to this or any other matter, you should seek independent taxation advice from a properly qualified person, before proceeding with this matter.
16. Authority To Receive Money
You authorise us to receive on your behalf any moneys due to you in the course of this matter and to deduct from such money or any money received from you, amounts in full or part payment of our fees and expenses then incurred or to be incurred from time to time. Nothing herein affects your rights in relation to requesting a detailed account or disputing an account as set out in the “Notice of Rights” referred to earlier. If as a result of any such dispute any previously paid account is to be reduced, the appropriate refund will be made to you from any payment previously received.
As you can see, we take our service to you seriously. We aim to attend to your legal matter promptly, efficiently and personally. If we can further assist you in any way please let us know.
Yours Faithfully MAATOUKS LAW GROUP PETER MAATOUK Peter@maatouks.com.au