This is very underrated and needs to be respected and seriously considered. You will understand why at the end. In fact, it is an obligation for parties to attend mediation prior to proceeding to Court in family law unless there are child safety concerns or urgent circumstances that require urgent applications being made.
Speak to one of our lawyers or Police immediately if you believe your child is at risk or believe you need to make an urgent application. To respect negotiation and mediation you need to understand the risks associated with court and what occurs in court.
How do you negotiate?
There are different types of negotiations that occur such as:
- by you or your solicitor making a proposal whether by correspondence, phone or face to face
- face to face discussions
- participating in an informal settlement conference
How do you mediate?
Mediation can occur by way of organising it through many organisations such as Relationship Australia or your solicitor. A mediator would then be appointed to assist both parties in resolving their dispute.
What happens if or when we agree?
After an agreement is reached you can formalise that agreement and protect it by having it approved by a Court. This is called Consent Orders.
In Court considerations based on the law are made which are based on the case and circumstances. However, what you may think to be very important or what the other party may think to be very important many times is very insignificant and not even relevant. It is important to understand that if it proceeds to Final Hearing a Court is deciding on your financial obligations along with the child living arrangements rather than you and the other party agreeing. In addition, the costs associated with Court are expensive.
Although negotiation does require compromise on both ends it does not mean you are worse off than what a court order may ultimately order. In fact, you will be advised of where you stand and what a Court would likely order should the matter fail negotiation and mediation and proceed to Court.
There are also many resources and Centres that have ben set up by the Courts to assist both parties in mediating their disputes such as Relationships Australia.
Despite there being high and charged emotions regarding disputes when they are broken down simply and you are advised of your position clearly you may find that settling outside of Court was the most appropriate outcome. That is because you and your partner are in a position of power to make the decision that affect you most without the expensive legal costs and length in time to resolve your matter.
Contact our experienced lawyers for assistance on resolving your matter before proceeding to Court. Of course, if the negotiation fails to resolve your matter and the only appropriate avenue is Court our lawyers will provide you with solid representation and provide you with clear advice on how to move forward. Call now for a free initial consultation.