Often in matrimonial cases there is a difference (sometimes a gulf) between the financial circumstances of one party compared to the other. One party might have accrued assets and income while the other party focused on the home and the children.

This all works well when both parties are working together but after separation one party can often find themselves with little or no financial resources to support themselves (and potentially their children), never mind find available funds to meet legal fees.

Such a scenario should not stop a party from receiving independent legal advice and, if necessary, securing their rights through a court process

Deferred payment of fees

In many cases the asset pool itself will provide an ability for legal fees incurred during the process to be paid at the end when settlement monies are ultimately received.

Litigation funding

There are finance firms who specifically provide loans to fund legal fees in appropriate circumstances.

Application against an estranged partner for monies towards legal fees

As a last resort within a substantive court application, a specific application can be made for a former partner to provide monies to assist with the litigation costs of the other. These scenarios are often referred to as “Hogan Orders” or Hogan Applications”, arising from the case of Hogan and Hogan (1986) FLC 91-704.

They are quite technical and should not be made without appropriate consideration of the factual circumstances of the specific case and without relevant preparatory steps having been taken, for example making sure all other avenues of funding have been considered and exhausted.


  1. the individual’s overall claim, on current information, has merit, and
  2. the proposed contribution towards legal fees is just in the circumstances, and
  3. provided the relevant sections of the Family Law Act 1975 have been considered and addressed

an application for assistance with legal fees can sometimes be the only way in which an individual can secure their rightful entitlements.

The applications themselves obviously incur legal fees and therefore they should be considered as a last resort however, if necessary, they are available and should not be overlooked.

Feel free to give us a call on 07 5444 1022 to make an appointment to find out how we can help you during this stressful time. 




Rob Hollis
Senior Solicitor/Associate Director| Family Law