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Mediation & Going to Court

We have a track record for resolving most of our cases through negotiation and agreement. It is our experience that clients typically feel more empowered when they can reach an agreement between themselves rather than through stressful and expensive court proceedings. Wherever possible, we will help you reach an out-of-court settlement for your family law matter to save you time and costs. We may also suggest mediation if we consider it appropriate and in your best interests. Mediation may be held with or without each party’s lawyers present and we can discuss these options with you.

If your matter cannot be resolved through negotiation or mediation, rest assured that we have a wealth of knowledge and experience in family court proceedings and will advocate strongly on your behalf to ensure the best possible outcome for you and your family.

What is mediation?

Mediation is commonly used in family law matters. It is a confidential, low cost and flexible method of dispute resolution. It involves the parties meeting face to face with an impartial third party who assists them in reaching a solution. A mediator does not provide legal advice or determine the outcome of the matter.

Mediation is most effective when parties are willing to negotiate and make genuine attempts to resolve the dispute. It is a good method for parties who hope to preserve their relationship or if they intend to have a co-parenting relationship.

Mediation typically resolves your family law matter faster than court proceedings and can also result in reaching more flexible solutions than what might otherwise be ordered by a court.

Going to Court – Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia

The Family Law Act sets out the process to resolve conflicts about two main issues: property and parenting. If a dispute about one of these issues cannot be resolved outside the courtroom, the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia will hear from both parties and make orders based on the law.

The family law system applies to marriages and de facto relationships. In some cases, you may first need to prove that you were in a de facto relationship to access the protections under family law legislation and our team can help you with that process.

The family law system is designed to be fair and equitable. Parenting laws focus on the best interests of the children, and property law aims to help separating couples reach a fair property division.

If an application is filed with the court for parenting or financial matters, the court will require a number of steps to be completed in attempt to settle your matter before trial. For example, in parenting matters the parties will be required to attend Family Dispute Resolution and make a genuine attempt to resolve their matter before an application for parenting orders can be made (in some circumstances an exemption will apply). In property matters, the parties will have to attend a mediation and make genuine attempts to settle the matter before an application for property orders can be made.

If your matter proceeds to trial, it may take months before a final hearing is conducted. A judge may make interim orders in relation to your matter (i.e. orders that stay in place until all evidence can be heard properly and final orders are made).

Negotiations can be carried out at any stage of the proceedings between lawyers by correspondence, meetings, or settlement conferences. Any of these methods can result in achieving a settlement and the finalisation of your family law matter.

If you need any assistance, contact one of our lawyers at [email protected] or call 1300 704 064 for a no-obligation discussion and expert legal advice.