What are my options?

The road to Coolamon in South West New South Wales.  This picture was taken from Lenton Park, the property owned by my grandfather, James Victor McCormack
The road to Coolamon in South West New South Wales. This picture was taken from Lenton Park, the property owned by my grandfather, James Victor McCormack

The road that you take after separation can depend of a number of things.  These will have a lot to do with how your separation has occurred and the terms on which you have parted company with your partner.

I am please to be able to say that not everyone ends up at each other’s throats.  It is more common than not that people are able to resolve their family law matters.  Sometimes, the road to resolution might have some pot holes.  As a result, there are a number of detours that can be taken to get to the final destination on the road to resolution.

The kitchen table method

Some people can sit around the kitchen table and reach an amicable resolution.  If this happens, having the agreement properly documented is essential.  We often formalise agreements reached by way of Consent Orders or Financial Agreements.

Lawyer assisted negotiation

It is always a good idea to get some advice about your situation.  A major aspect of practice is assisting parties who may feel that they are not in a position to negotiate directly with their partner.  This might happen through correspondence or by informal conferences with your partner or their lawyer.

Collaborative law

I have posted a detailed explanation about collaborative law here.  This method of dispute resolution is becoming increasingly popular.

Mediation

Mediation is a process where by the parties (and their lawyers if retained) attempt to resolve issues in dispute with the assistance of a third party.

A mediator is generally a senior practitioner who has had experience in family law and has training and accreditation in mediation.  The mediator’s role is to assist parties reaching a resolution themselves rather than imposing a decision.

Arbitration

Arbitration is a method of resolving property settlement or spousal maintenance matters.  In essence, an arbitration is where the parties appoint a third party to make a decision.  It is a little like appointing a private judge to determine a dispute.  The parties have an opportunity to present evidence and arguments to inform the arbitrator about their position.  The arbitrator then makes a decision called an award.  The award can their be registered with a court for enforcement.

Litigation

It goes without saying that this is the end of the road in some respects.  However, some times is is necessary to commence litigation to bring matters to a head.

Most matters that commence with litigation ultimately end up settling at some point along the way.  There are various reasons for this which include the cost, the delay, and the stress that litigation creates.

Matters that are litigated do not need to end up in a full blown hearing with people being cross-examined and a judge handing down a decision.

The route that you take to resolving your dispute can be influenced by you.  Sometimes a combination of these methods can assist in resolving your dispute.

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