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The alternatives of “Going to Court”

With the Family Court and Federal Circuit Court becoming increasingly busy, the attitude of clients wanting to “go straight to Court” is becoming a rarity.
The reality is, getting your day in Court and having final decisions made can often take years. It is also a shame for people to rely on the Courts to make decisions
that can reached by the parties themselves given a little understanding and the right environment.

 

Mediation and Arbitration

Due to this wait in the judicial system, we encourage our clients to participate and resolve their issues through alternate avenues including mediation and arbitration.  In fact, it is a legislative requirement that parties make a genuine effort to explore all areas of primary resolution before making an application to the Court.

Mediation

Mediation involves the trained professional assisting the parties to put forward their case, understand the other parties position and communicate effectively in an effort to reach a mutually acceptable resolution to the dispute.

This process is designed to encourage parties to resolve their disputes quickly and fairly, and avoid costly legal action where possible.  Not only does mediation allow for separating couples to reach a suitable parenting plan or an agreement that is in the best interest of the children, mediation can also tackle issues regarding children, maintenance, financial arrangements and property matters.

During the mediation process, all discussion are privileged and any agreement reached is not legally binding until an order is made or formalised by a recognised agreement.

Arbitration

Rather than commencing Court proceedings following a failed mediation, parties can proceed to arbitration.  Although this method of alternate dispute resolution is less common in family law, it is an effective method of achieving certainty in a matter.

This process involves parties presenting arguments and evidence to an arbitrator, who then makes a decision as if you were in front of a judge.  The decision made by arbitrators are binding on the parties and they may be registered in Court. Upon registration, a decision has effect as if it were judgement or an order of the Court.

This process is much quicker and much more cost effective than going to Court. Further, a decision is usually delivered within twenty-eight days of the arbitration.

Talk to a specialist in family law
To find out more about any form of alternative dispute resolution that you think may be suitable for you, please contact us.

Gold Coast 07 5554 1555
Sydney 02 9238 2118
Brisbane 07 3181 4328
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