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The Family Law court encourages alternative dispute resolution

For many out there who are going through separation and divorce, the concept of going to court is something that is intimidating, threatening and usually attributed with high fees, lengthy delays and increased stress.

On 1 September 2021 there were significant changes to the Family Law court and processes. Some of the most significant changes have been the Court’s push for parties involved in a family law dispute to resolve their matters through alternative dispute resolution

It’s important to remember that not every matter requires court intervention. There are exceptional circumstances that can mean that a separation or divorce ought to be determined by the court, but this shouldn’t be the most common occurrence.

The new pre court procedures are relevant to both parenting and property matters. There is an active encouragement by the court, for parties to make genuine steps to resolve their dispute outside of court and via alternative methods like mediation or family dispute resolution.

By encouraging resolution of matters through alternative dispute resolution channels, family law matters are being resolved earlier, cheaper and in a much more collaborative way.

Before filing an application for parenting orders in court, the Law requires separating families who have a dispute about children to make a genuine effort to try to sort it out through family dispute resolution. This requirement applies to anyone wanting to file an application with a family law court, including if you are filing for changes to an existing parenting order.

Family Dispute Resolution is a special type of mediation aimed at helping separating families to come to their own agreements. The main objective of FDR is to assist participants to make a parenting plan setting out the agreed future parenting arrangements.

During FDR families have the opportunity to discuss the issues and consider the available options. Throughout the process you will be encouraged to focus on the needs of the children. It is a practical and low cost way to sort out future parenting arrangements, with professional help.

In the lead up to Christmas, Easter and other school holiday periods, parents are aiming to secure time with their children. They not only want to secure this time, but they want to do it quickly and cost-effectively. By attending a mediation or family dispute resolution, disputes can sometimes be resolved within a matter of weeks and reach a result that everyone can agree on.

If you are thinking about taking the next step in your separation journey, we encourage you to consider the various pathways that you can utilise for resolution that aren’t court.

Contact our family law solicitors to get advice about your obligations under the new rules. We can assist you with resolving your dispute with lower costs, less time expended and with minimal stress for you.

Contact Jennifer to discuss your family law matter today
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Contact Jennifer to discuss your family law matter today
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The Family Law court encourages alternative dispute resolution

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Read more
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