Options for Family Law Disputes

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The Government has recently announced it will invest over $100 million towards funding family relationship services, including post separation dispute resolution. The following options are available for parties trying to solve family law matters.

What options do not involve solicitors?

Direct negotiation between parties — works best if parties have a reasonably amicable relationship and can communicate about their issues directly. If this is the case, it is important to formalise the agreement to protect each party’s interests and we can advise on how this can be done.

Mediation — a direct process designed around interest-based negotiation. The mediator should be an independent, neutral third party. Organisations such as Relationships Australia and the Family Relationships Centre have skilled mediators.

What options involve solicitors?

Negotiations through solicitors — each party engages their own solicitor to help them reach an agreement about their family law matter.

Round table conference — parties and their solicitors meet to resolve matters.

Arbitration — a senior barrister, retired Judge or qualified arbitrator is appointed to determine the solution to the dispute.

Collaborative law/practice — parties enter into a contract to resolve matters without going to Court and attend four-way meetings to achieve a resolution.

Litigation — the last resort if negotiations fail but can be useful in urgent situations. Litigation can force parties into further settlement negotiations.

How do I choose the right process?

We can help you decide, so do not waste time, effort and money trying to sort it out for yourself.