Dealing with family law issues can be overwhelming, and court proceedings can add extra cost, delay, and complexities to a matter. Wherever possible, we help clients resolve their family law matters through alternative processes such as negotiation, mediation, and family dispute resolution. Our family and divorce mediators in Canberra have helped many clients reach successful outcomes without resorting to litigation, however, if court is the only option, we are experienced family law practitioners and can provide excellent advocacy and representation in court.
Family Law & Divorce Mediation
Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution process that can help resolve your family law matter without costly court proceedings. Partner, Geoff Mazengarb, is an experienced mediator and can assist with your family law dispute.
Mediation involves a trained, independent mediator who facilitates discussions between you and your former partner with the view of reaching a resolution, whether it be for the short term or long term. The mediator does not provide legal advice or determine the outcome of your matter. Mediation is private and can be arranged at a time and place to suit you and your former partner. As mediation is more relaxed than a court environment, it is typically more conducive to exploring creative options to resolve, or narrow down, the issues in dispute.
The mediation process can also involve your respective lawyers and any agreement reached during mediation can be detailed in legally binding terms of settlement.
Family dispute resolution
Transitioning smoothly from a family unit to co-parenting after separation can be difficult, however, separated parents are encouraged to work together to minimise the impact of their circumstances on their children. Family Dispute Resolution is one avenue available for separated families to try and resolve any disagreements they have and make parenting arrangements for both the short term and long term.
Before filing an application seeking orders from the Court with respect to parenting arrangements, the Family Law Act 1975 requires you to obtain a certificate from a Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner. There are some exceptions to this.
Partner, Geoff Mazengarb, is an accredited Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner who can help separated parents discuss all issues relating to their children and reach a resolution that meets the needs of their family.
Going to Court
Unfortunately, not all family law matters about parenting or property can be resolved through alternative dispute resolution, and going to Court may be the only viable option to assert your legal rights. In such cases, the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia will hear from both sides and make orders based on the law.
The Family Law Act 1975 applies to marriages and de facto relationships. The law is designed to be fair and equitable – parenting laws focus on the best interests of the children, and property laws aim to help separated couples reach a fair division of their property.
Matters that proceed through the family court system may take months before a final hearing is conducted and interim orders may be made for some matters. Interim orders are orders that apply until all evidence can be heard properly and final orders made.
Speak to a Family Law Mediator in Canberra
The Court will require the parties to make genuine efforts to resolve their disputes before proceeding to a final hearing. For example, in parenting matters, unless extenuating circumstances exist, the parties must attend family dispute resolution before applying for parenting orders. In property matters, the parties will need to attend a conciliation conference with a registrar before appearing before a judge. Negotiations can be conducted at any stage of your family law proceedings which may result in reaching a settlement and finalising your matter before a final hearing.