There are various ways of resolving family law issues without going to Court. In most cases the Family Court requires you to try to work out your arrangements for property and children before going to Court.
This can involve negotiating with your previous partner. Often this is not achievable because both parties are not able to discuss and negotiate without some help. This help can include:
Obtaining a Family lawyer to contact your former partner and discuss and negotiate on your behalf. We at West Coast Legal are very experienced with this process and can assist you. The other option is to attend mediation
What is Mediation or Family Dispute Resolution?
Mediation or Family Dispute Resolution (FDR) is a process where you and your ex-partner meet with a Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner to try to sort out your family law issues. These issues might include who your children will live with, who they will spend time with and other matters such as what school the children will attend and also what do do about separating your property and finances.
What are the exceptions to having to attend FDR?
If you intend to make an application to the Family Court for parenting orders (including to change existing parenting orders) you must attend FDR and obtain an FDR Certificate before you can make an application to the court. There are the following exceptions:
- There has been or is risk of child abuse
- There has been or is risk of child abuse to the child.
- You live in a remote area and you cannot attend FDR, although often parties can attend by telephone link up.
With regards to sorting our your property issues it is not compulsory for you to attempt property settlement through Family Dispute Resolution. However, before you commence proceedings for property settlement in the Family Court you must do the following:
You must complete pre-action procedures which will include trying to genuinely negotiate an agreement with your ex-partner. If you cannot come to an agreement you need to in writing advise your ex-partner that you intend to seek the assistance of the Family Court by starting a case in the Family Court. You also need to advise your ex-partner what the issues are and also what you will be seeking from the court. You must also disclose to each other any relevant financial information and documents which usually includes copy of bank statements, tax returns, credit card statements and superannuation statements.