What Other Costs on Top of What I Pay My Conveyancer?

Your conveyancer or solicitor will normally charge you their professional penalities plus any disbursements which include fees for any searches and settlement fees. However on top of these fees, there will also be other compulsory fees and so you will need to budget for these as well.

Stamp Duty

Your relevant State or Territory Revenue Office will impose a stamp duty levy on most transfers of property. The stamp duty is payable by the purchaser or transferee. The stamp duty rate depends on which State or Territory the property is in and the value of the purchase price or how much the property is worth.

Your conveyancer or solicitor will be able to calculate the stamp duty payable for you and also advise you if there are any concessions available to you, depending on your circumstances. For example, holders of a recognised concession card are entitled to a concessional stamp duty rate.

Transfer Cost

The purchase or transferee to a conveyancing transaction will also have to pay a Transfer Fee to the relevant State or Territory Land office. Like the stamp duty rate, the amount of the Transfer Fee depends on which State or Territory the property is in and the value of the purchase price or how much the property is worth. The Transfer Fee is usually capped and so if you reach a certain amount, then you shall pay that amount, regardless of how much the you paid for the property or how much the property is worth.

Your conveyancer or solicitor will be able to advise you as to the relevant transfer fee. There are usually no concessions for transfer fees.

Bank Fees

All banks and financial institutions will charge you some form of fee, whether you are purchasing or selling.

If you are purchasing a property and obtaining a mortgage, then they shall charge you application fees, their legal costs, settlement costs and any other charges they deem fit. It is best to check the bank’s Loan Offer prior to signing any mortgage documents to check what fees you will be liable for, both initially and during the life of the loan.

If you are selling a property then the bank will charge you their discharge fees. Further, if you are paying out your loan early (for example within 4 years of purchase), then you will also be liable for the bank’s early exit fees. The exit fees are usually one of the most contentious fees chargeable by a bank and so it is best to ensure that you fully understand what you have to pay should you decide to pay out the loan earlier than expected.

Children's Involvement in the Legal Process

When children witness violent or abusive behaviour in their home, they are certainly affected by it; however, from a legal standpoint, it is extremely rare for a child to be called in as a witness in family court. Typically, family court judges dealing with divorce custody issues will let a parent testify about what a child said or did at the time an abusive act occurred, even though technically, the testimony of this nature is categorized as “hearsay” and is therefore inadmissible. Most family court judges make protecting a child involved in a divorce custody case their priority, which is why a parent testifying on behalf of their child is allowed. Read the following article about child witnesses.

If a judge presiding over a divorce custody case decides that your child should, in fact, be allowed to testify, an attorney or guardian ad litem will be appointed to your child. (The term “ad litum” refers to someone appointed by the court to act on behalf of another party who is deemed incapable of representing themselves, such as children. This is discussed in greater detail in Chapter 9.) Often, the court takes child protection during divorce custody hearings even further by closing the courtroom, or having the child testify privately in the judge’s chambers. Because of children’s attorneys, guardians ad litem, research in family relations and complex psychological studies, the necessity for a child to testify has become practically obsolete.

Even when the children are grown and technically adults, asking for this kind of testimony is rarely worth it. Children, especially young children involved in divorce custody battles, can be traumatized by the possibility of testifying on behalf of one parent over the other. The experience could potentially damage them for life.

What if My Child is the One Being Abused?

If a spouse is physically or emotionally abusive or violent towards a partner, more likely than not, that person will become abusive towards their children. Studies have shown that nearly 50% of men who have abused their wives have also abused their children. When a child not only witnesses but is the recipient of violent or abusive behaviour, that child will carry the effects of the abuse into adulthood. The risk for these children is at its highest when the marriage is unraveling, the couple is living apart, and the father cannot arrest his own oppressive tendencies to exert control over his family.

While some men can let go of the rage they experience at the onset of separation, others become even more violent as time goes on. This is often due to their desperate need for control as they perceive their role in the family diminishing. The scenario holds the most potential danger for children. Older children are particularly at risk, as they are often caught in the middle of conflicts trying to shield or protect their mother from injury at the hands of her abusive spouse. Studies also show that daughters are much more likely than sons to be victimized by their fathers. Due to gender, they are more vulnerable to physical or sexual abuse.

This cycle of abuse is tragic, and becomes even more horrible with time. Women who are abused are less able to take care of their children, setting the course for additional problems. Moreover, according to spousal abuse expert Dr. Lenore Walker, the odds of a woman using harsh, physical discipline on her children is eight times greater if she is living in an abusive situation herself.

Abused children exhibit symptoms akin to those seen in children who only witness violence and abuse among their parents. These innocent bystanders suffer extreme psychological problems from actions completely out of their control. It is critical that they get the help they need and deserve.

Excerpted from Your Divorce Advisor: A Lawyer and a Psychologist Guide You Through the Legal and Emotional Landscape of Divorce (Simon & Schuster/Fireside 2001). For more information:

Using a Good Liverpool Family Law Firm is Essential

We all need to learn to let go of things which are holding us back or making us unhappy. This can often mean that we have to deal with certain things which we would rather not have to think about, such as the breakdown of a family or marriage. This is where you will need the services of a family lawyer and have to look for a good Liverpool family law firm (that is if you live in Liverpool of course!)

Family law in Liverpool is the same as family law anywhere in the country and covers things such as Adoption Law, Alimony, Annulment, Child Custody, Child Support, Cohabitation Agreements, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, Fathers Rights, Matrimonial Law, Military Divorce, Paternity, Premarital Agreements, Separation Agreements, Spousal Support, and Visitation Rights. This may seem to cover a lot of things but many of them are related and overlap so that one solicitor usually has the expertise to handle a number of them at the same time.

Legal issues which arise when circumstances in your family life change require a different approach to many other areas of the law; the aggressive, adversarial approach can all too often inflame and prolong disputes which could otherwise have been resolved through conciliation and negotiation. This is why it is important to be discreet and sympathetic but at the same time to be honest enough to tell the truth, no matter how unsavoury it may be for the client to hear.


Divorce is what most people think of when they think of family law. The first question that a divorcing couple faces is what process to use: litigation, mediation, or collaboration, and it is mainly for the purposes of litigation which you will need a family law Liverpool, solicitor.

Litigation is the process whereby each person retains an attorney and they litigate the legal issue by and through their attorneys. More than 95% of the cases end in an out of court settlement. There might be one or two court hearings to determine interim support or to resolve other issues, but most cases are resolved without trial. This is easier for all the parties involved, especially where there is the welfare of children to consider.

Most of the things which are dealt with by family law solicitors stem are related to relationships and often stem from the breakdown of one. This is not to say that all is doom and gloom in the world of family law in Liverpool, as there are also things such as seeing the joy on the faces of parents when the adoption papers are signed for a child which a couple has been longing for for many years, and to be honest, a lot of divorces are uncontested and end up making a lot of people very happy. This may not sound good but sometimes it is better to make a clean break and then a fresh new start than to stick at something causing hurt, disappointment and sadness.

Why Your Business Needs Legal Advice?

For majority of people, starting a business is as easy as thinking. To them, all that they need to kick-off and operate a successful enterprise is; the business idea, capital, and the premises to operate in. While this may suffice in the short run, sooner or later the business may come down tumbling due to some oversights that were never taken into consideration during the establish of the business. These oversights would not have been an issue if one had an attorney every step of the way. So, why would you need an attorney for your business? There are many reasons why your business needs legal advice. Here are some:

Roles played by business legal advisor

Primarily, the role of an entrepreneur is coming up with a business idea and making it work. On the other hand, for an attorney, their role is to foresee any future short comings and prevent any problems that may occur due to oversights. While it is costly to hire an attorney, the cost undergone in hiring one from the word goes is much less as compared to the one your business will suffer due to unwanted incidents occurring. Right from the time you are signing the lease for your business premises you need legal advice. In such situation, you need a legal expert to examine for any hidden charges and prevent you from being a victim of unexpected rent increase.

You need legal counsel when you are setting up your management structure and drafting of employees contract terms of employment. Setting up management is not as simple you may think. You have to look beyond hiring qualified personnel to do the job. Look at the risks that they pause to the survival of your business. Having an attorney besides you, you are able to identify these risks and come up terms of agreements and employment contracts that protect your business from your employees.

When both you and your business fully understand the relevant regulations and laws pertaining your industry you are able to pursue any venture with gusto. You will be able to register and patent any new invention that you have come up with. It will be much easier for you to draw up standard terms of trade with your partners that will not have loop holes that they can take advantage of. When you have the necessary legal advice, you give your business a new breath of life such that it is able to anticipate and react accordingly to any change in operational environment.

Online business also needs legal advice. If you are operating online, there are also many reasons why your business needs legal advice. One of these reasons is that you need a strong online privacy policy for your website. A privacy policy explains to your site users your stand with regards how you use their personal details. As such, having legal advice while you come up with it safe guards from any lawsuit that may result due to an oversight in the contents of the privacy policy.

As you can see, there are many reasons why your business needs legal advice. If you are wondering how to get the best and the right attorney, talk to your friends and associates about it. They are bound to give you reliable reference to an attorney whom they have worked with before.