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At Watson & Watson our clients come first. Please be assured of our continued dedicated services to all current and new clients.

As we have done in the past, we will continue to offer alternative conferencing methods ie video conferencing, skype or telephone conferences. Reviewing of all documentation provided to us prior to any initial conference will be all inclusive of our set fee. Do not hesitate to contact Shereen Da Gloria on (02) 9221 6011 should you have any concerns.

Mediation can deliver – Get the result without going to Court

18/03/2020

The first questions commonly asked by people who have separated and want to know how they can resolve division of their property and assets, parenting issues or just get divorced are usually:

  • Will I have to go to Court? 
  • How much will it cost? 
  • How long would it take? 

There is a common belief only the Family Court or Federal Circuit Court can be used to solve and finalise the issues of separation, divorce, property/financial settlement and parenting/custody matters or disputes.  Family Court or Federal Circuit Court proceedings are usually slow and expensive. 

At Watson & Watson we advise clients of alternatives to Family Court or Federal Circuit Court and encourage settlement by negotiation or by alternative resolution processes.  These include:

  1. Mediation. 
  2. Arbitration. 
  3. Conciliation. 

Mediation of property and parenting disputes is becoming a preferred option for experienced family law practitioners.  Resolution of disputes between former spouses outside the pressure and expense of Court Room litigation with the assistance of a trained and independent Mediator is in terms of costs and time, a better option than proceeding to a hearing before the Court.  It allows more participation by the parties and can focus on the real issues of dispute and can achieve outcomes that a Judge may not be able to deliver.

At Watson & Watson we prepare for and conduct Mediations with Registered Alternative Dispute Practitioners (Mediators) to attempt to resolve disputes in relation to Parenting, Property/financial or other aspects of Family Law matters without commencing proceedings at the Family Court or Federal Circuit Court or following commencement but prior to hearing.  If an agreement can be reached in relation to these issues by the parties at Mediation with the assistance of the Mediator, these agreements can become final and binding.  An application to the Family Court or Federal Circuit Court for approval of Consent Orders and/or preparation and signing of Binding Financial Agreements, Binding Child Support Agreements and Releases in relation to inheritance matters, can be achieved. 

What Does Mediation Involve?

Mediation allows the parties involved in the dispute to participate in Mediation with a Family Mediator who is neutral and impartial to each party and is there to help resolve the parties’ differences and in some cases, to formulate what issues may be subject to Court determination and possible other alternatives to resolve disputes.

Mediations can relate to financial property disputes, spousal maintenance, parenting matters, child support and other related matters. 

Advantages of Mediation 

  • There are significant delays in the Family Court and the Federal Circuit Court of Australia which has resulted in people having to wait months or years to obtain orders from the Court. 
  • Mediation and resolution can occur at or shortly after the mediation.
  • Mediation can occur very early in the process and preferably after the financial position of the parties are known.
  • The Mediation process remains confidential and the parties sign a Mediation Agreement which usually contains a clause that the settlement is confidential.
  • Both parties attend with their lawyers but also can personally participate in the Mediation process as compared to the Court Room, where they do not participate until they are in the witness box giving evidence before a Judge.
  • The earlier the Mediation occurs (after the parties’ financial position in general terms is ascertained) the greater the savings of costs to you as there is no requirement for a Court hearing and determination of the issue.

Watson & Watson have access to accredited Mediators through the Australian Institute of Family Law Arbitrators and Mediators and regularly conduct, prepare and conclude Mediations successfully. 

If you are looking to resolve your family law matter/dispute be it contact issues, financial/property settlement or are about to separate from your husband or de facto partner and wish to achieve a cost effective resolution, Mediation should be considered.  Please contact Richard Watson Senior Family Solicitor or his Personal Assistant Shereen Da Gloria to discuss your concerns and seek advice as to the alternative option to achieve an equitable resolution of your matter.

This is only a preliminary view and is not to be taken as legal advice without first contacting Watson & Watson Solicitors on 9221 6011.

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