Divorce and Mediation – Staying Out of Court

Are you thinking of filing for divorce? Your legal representative should be the first address you go to, because you are about to enter an area of family law that can be frustrating or hard to navigate. Here at Withstand Lawyers, we are specialised in a number of family law matters, one of them being divorced. With our expertise and extensive experience, we can get you the best possible outcome in your family law matters.

When most people think of divorce, they assume that what’s in front of them is a long and exhausting court battle against their former partner. But it isn’t necessarily the case. It’s possible that you don’t even have to go to court. There are several methods that are available to reach an agreement with your former partner, formal litigation being one of them.

Here at Withstand Lawyers, being experienced in collaborative law, we know how to help you stay out of court if that’s a possibility. Collaborative law refers to the practice of law where lawyers utilise alternative methods of dispute resolution. Put simply, we use methods that will keep you and your case out of court. Some of the alternative dispute resolution processes that you might be interested in, and that can work in your favour, are Mediation and Arbitration. If you want to know if you can avoid a long and quite costly legal battle at court, contact Withstand Lawyers at 1800 644 541 or send us an email at info@withstandlawyers.com.au so we can schedule a meeting with a family law mediator in Sydney, Parramatta or Brisbane.

Divorce – Factsheet

According to the Family Law Act 1975, divorce is “the termination of a marriage otherwise than by the death of a party of the marriage”. If you want to get a divorce in Australia, you should know that it operates by a no-fault divorce system. This means that you won’t be asked, nor it matters, what the reasons and grounds for getting a divorce are. There is only one ground for divorce in Australia: the marriage has broken down irretrievably.

You do, however, meet some preconditions for getting a divorce in Australia:

  • You must be an Australian citizen, or
  • You must consider Australia your home and intend to live here indefinitely, or
  • You must live in Australia and have done so for 12 months before filing for divorce.

Additionally, a divorce can only be granted if the parties are separated and have lived separately for a continuous period of at least 12 months immediately before an application for divorce is filed.

If the court determines that there is a reasonable chance that you and your former partner will cohabitate in future, no divorce order will be made. On the other hand, there are circumstances where a divorce will be ordered even if the parties are still living under the same roof – but are considered separated due to no longer wishing to continue their marriage, consuming their marriage, handling finance together, etc.

What is Family Law Mediation?

As mentioned previously, mediation involves the former partners, their legal representatives, and other professionals mediating a matter. Mediation can be used for a number of matters relating to a divorce – to settle property and children’s issues, for example. Since there are long waiting periods for courts to hear family matters in Australia, a collaborative law process has been adopted for dealing with family law matters.

According to the Family Law Act 1975, both you and your former partner are required to obtain a certificate from a registered specialist for family dispute resolution prior to filing an application for any orders relating to children. There are some exceptions to the rule, but in most cases, you will be required to obtain this certificate. The certificate will then allow you to file an application for orders that relate to your children.

We at Withstand Lawyers can assist you with finding an accredited family law mediator in Sydney or Brisbane. It is necessary that this is an accredited specialist who will help you with undertaking the process to provide you with the certificate.

There are several reasons why mediation is better than traditional litigation.

What Can Mediation Do for Me?

If your matter is settled in court, you will miss out on the advantages of mediation. One of these is the fact that your case will remain confidential. Furthermore, you will retain control of your situation if you undergo mediation, and the decision or decisions on how to settle your case will not be left to a third party – namely, the judge, if your case is heard in court. The judge’s decision will be final and binding.

On the other hand, during mediation, you can negotiate with the other party and ultimately reach a decision together – a decision you are both satisfied with. You may negotiate on issues relating to property and children, and each party will be able to voice their concerns and opinions, which will then be taken into consideration when making a final decision.

Mediation is likely to be more time- and cost effective than court: there are extremely long waiting times to have your matter heard in the Family Court, and this bears significant costs.

Interested in Mediation? Contact Us Today

If you feel that mediation may be the right solution for you and your former partner, do not hesitate to contact Withstand Lawyers. As one of the most reputable law firms in Sydney, we posses both theoretical knowledge and practical experience that will help you reach the best outcome possible.

You need to be aware, however, that mediation does not work in each and every case. But our divorce lawyers will consider your circumstances and determine the suitable plan of action for your specific situation. If we decide that mediation is indeed the step you need to take that suits your situation best, we will connect you to an expert family law mediator in Sydney or Brisbane to work with you further.

We are based in offices in Sydney, Parramatta and Brisbane, but we can also schedule an appointment in Blacktown, Bankstown, Campbelltown, Central Coast, North Shore, Penrith or Wollongong.

Call us at 1800 644 541, send us an email at info@withstandlawyers.com.au, or send an online inquiry, and we will schedule a meeting as soon as possible. If you are a first-time client, we will welcome you with a free consultation and legal advice!

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