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NOTICE ALERT IN LIGHT OF COVID-19
WHAT WE PROPOSE AND HOW WE CAN ASSIST
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.
Alternative methods of resolving Family Law disputes such as Mediation and Collaborative Practice are discussed on the Watson & Watson website. Arbitration is another alternative to pursuing a case in the Family Court from the beginning to the end. Judicial resolution of cases takes significant time, incurs significant costs and there are long delays for all parties involved in cases being heard before the Family Courts. These factors have resulted in people looking towards alternative dispute resolution methods.
The Family Court is now actively supporting Arbitration. This aim has resulted in the promotion of Arbitration for property matters. The Family Court of Australia and the Federal Court have established a new specialist list in each Court known as the “National Arbitration List”. Specific Judges have been appointed to co-ordinate the Arbitration List in each State and Territory.
Arbitration is a process whereby parties to a dispute present arguments and evidence to an independent Arbitrator who then makes a decision (on award) to resolve the dispute. The Arbitrator is not a Judge of the Court but the Arbitrator hears and decides the case. Following Arbitration, the Arbitrator delivers their decision within 28 days. Arbitration is different to Mediation:
The Family Law Act provides for two types of Arbitration each of which requires the consent of the parties.
One of the important aspects of the Arbitration is what occurs when one party is dissatisfied with the outcome of the Arbitration. If the matter had been determined by a Judge of the Family Court or Federal Circuit Court then there would be a right to appeal in respect of a final decision.
Section 13J of the Family Law Act allows a party to seek a review of an arbitral award on questions of law only. Section 13K provides that a dissatisfied party may seek a review of an arbitral award if the Court is satisfied that:
If you are proposing to resolve your financial/property settlement or spousal maintenance matter by participation in Alternative Dispute Resolution, extreme care needs to be given before you agree to an Arbitration having regard to the lack of review if you are dissatisfied with the outcome. Equally important is the selection of an appropriate Arbitrator which requires careful consideration.
At Watson & Watson Lawyers our highly experienced Family Law Solicitors can also assist you if you are in proceedings and one party proposes Alternative Dispute Resolution. We can advise you of the benefits and detriments which will enable you to make a decision which is only one of the tools available. We consider all avenues and provide our advice pertinent to your particular circumstances. Please contact Richard Watson Senior Family Lawyer or Shereen Da Gloria his Personal Assistant to discuss your concerns and seek timely advice.
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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