Firstly, sorry if this has been covered, but I'm in a bit of a hurry and don't have time to search through the forums. Long story short: A friend of mine has recently separated from her partner ( de facto of 20 years). They have a joint mortgage that she wants to be removed from, which will result in her partner refinancing the loan and paying her out an agreed amount. Their bank manager has gone through all the relevant paperwork, etc., but has advised them that she has to be removed from the current mortgage by court order. I don't know why this is the case, but they are both happy to do it this way. Today she went to see her lawyer and was advised that this whole process is going to cost her $3000. My question is, does a lawyer need to actually be involved in this, or are they essentially a middleman that collects a $3000 payment at the end of the day? Is it possible for her to approach the court herself, file what needs to be filed and go from there? I mean it's not like the case needs to be argued, as all parties are agreeable. Thanks!