What is Family Dispute Resolution?
Family dispute resolution means trying to reach an agreement about your family arrangements when you are separated, divorced or have had your marriage annulled, or you are likely to.
It helps couples who have separated sort out their disputes about:
- children and parenting
- division of property
- partner maintenance
- child support and adult child maintenance
Grandparents, aunts, uncles and other important adults in the lives of children can also use family dispute resolution to come to an agreement about these sorts of disputes.
Under What Circumstances Can I Apply for Family Dispute Resolution?
When you and your former partner cannot decide on parenting arrangements, the matter may be resolved in court. Before court proceedings, you may undergo Family Dispute Resolution with the aim of resolving the situation – this will be compulsory in most circumstances.
In most cases, you can only apply to a family law court for an order about your children if you have a certificate from a family dispute resolution practitioner. The certificate will say one of the following:
- one party did not attend family dispute resolution
- the case was not appropriate for family dispute resolution
- all parties attended and made a genuine effort to resolve the dispute
- all parties attended but one or both parties did not make a genuine effort to resolve the dispute
- family dispute resolution started but part way through the practitioner decided it was not appropriate to continue.
If you apply to the court for a parenting order, the judge may take the certificate into account when making decisions in your case, including whether one of you should pay towards the other party’s legal costs.
How Can a Professional Lawyer Help?
Family law is an increasingly complex area requiring a demanding set of skills and abilities.
An experienced family law professional can provide you with assistance every step of the way. Your lawyer will advise on all aspects of family law including relationship breakdowns, children’s matters, complex property and financial settlements and financial agreements, including family dispute resolution.
They can negotiate, mediate, collaborate, arbitrate and if necessary, litigate and will help you choose the most appropriate option for your particular situation.
A professional, experienced lawyer will be able to resolve disputes in a constructive, sensitive and timely manner.
Contact the team at Robert Wood and Associates if you’d like more information about family dispute resolution. Simply call (03) 9762 3877 or contact us online to book an appointment with an experienced and professional lawyer.