Ways to Achieve Resolution
Today, there are various ways in which we can help you resolve the issues arising out of your separation. Some, like Collaborative Practice are new, whereas others, such as written or oral negotiations and mediation, have been around for a long time.
We can assist by guiding you through alternative dispute resolution options that are designed to resolve your issues and arrangements in a respectful way and will ultimately result in a negotiated separation agreement with your partner. The important thing is to identify the option that suits your situation best.
We can help you by providing the advice you need to make the right decisions at the right time.
Whether you require advice for a divorce application, financial/property settlements, or parenting matters, we will ensure that you are aware of your rights, and obligations through each step of the process.
Legal Advice may involve providing clients with a one off initial consultation, periodic or ongoing legal advice while they conduct their own negotiations, mediate or even litigate without formal representation. Some clients prefer this approach in order to keep their legal costs to a minimum. At Parker Family Law, one of our accredited family Lawyers can assist you through this process.
If an agreement is reached between the parties, we strongly suggest that you make this settlement binding and enforceable by way of filing Consent Orders in the Family Court or we can draft a Financial Agreement between you and your former partner (without anyone having to go to Court).
At Parker Family Law our preferred approach is to negotiate a resolution of your family law issues. Negotiating a settlement with your former partner that both of you can live with is likely to save you a lot of money, time and stress. Settling will be quicker, easier, cheaper and probably get you closer to what you want than a Court decision may achieve.
Negotiation involves our lawyers assisting you with identifying the issues in dispute, developing options, considering alternatives and endeavouring to reach an agreement whilst acting as your advocate and providing ongoing advice and representation.
We can commit the resolution to writing in a document such as a Consent Order or a Binding Financial Agreement. We are skilled at negotiating agreements by way of verbal or written communication with the other party or their lawyer, including a utilisation of the mediation process where appropriate.
Opportunities for negotiation and settlement exist not only before proceedings are commenced, but also after Court proceedings have been commenced and continue right up until the Court finally hears and determines the matter. At every step, Parker Family Law will strive to negotiate and resolve your dispute. Our aim is to obtain an outcome that you are satisfied with and at the same time save you the expense and emotional stress associated with proceeding to a Court hearing.
Our lawyers are experienced negotiators, and will use their best endeavours to help you resolve your matter without the need for Court litigation.
AGREEMENTS AND CONSENT ORDERS
Binding Financial Agreements are made in anticipation of cohabitation or marriage, during relationships or after separation. Parker Family Law are able to draft and formalise such agreements either as a product of negotiations or on direct instructions from you so that the agreement becomes legally binding. If you are already married or in a de facto or same-sex relationship you can enter into an agreement to protect your property if separation does occur. It can make parties feel secure knowing that the property they have accumulated prior to the relationship or marriage is safe.
There are strict requirements associated with making a valid binding agreement. Each party must provide full disclosure of their financial circumstances and each get their own independent advice, each from a different Lawyer. We are able to fully advise our clients on how signing a Financial Agreement will affect you in the future, including the advantages and disadvantages of entering into a Financial Agreement, taking into account your specific circumstances.
Consent Orders which are made by the Court and can include both property and parenting matters can be prepared and filed without the parties needing to attend Court.
Finalising Your Agreement / Orders
Once an agreement has been reached Parker Family Law can prepare a binding document. This may take the form of Property or Parenting Orders by consent, Parenting Plan, Binding Financial Agreement, a Deed of Release, Child Support Agreement, or a combination of these depending on your circumstances.
By coming to your own agreement, you can avoid the uncertainty, cost, stress, and delay of a Court settlement.
Does my partner also need a Binding Financial Agreement / Consent Order?
No. There is one Binding Financial Agreement or Consent Order between the two partners although each of you will need to retain your own lawyer. For a financial agreement to be legally binding, you must both have signed the agreement and received independent legal advice before signing. Legal advice is not necessary for Consent Orders but is strongly recommended.
Mediation is a voluntary and confidential negotiation process in which a professionally trained mediator helps you and your former partner to identify, address and make mutually satisfactory decisions to resolve the issues surrounding separation, children and/or property settlement.
It is a form of "assisted negotiation". Family dispute resolution is a compulsory step in most parenting cases before an application can be made to the Court under the Family Law Act. It is also a normal procedural step required by the Court in parenting cases once proceedings have been filed.
How it works
The mediator facilitates discussion but does not provide any legal advice or make any decisions, which means that ultimately the solutions in mediation are created by you and your partner. The mediator remains neutral at all times, simply managing the process and assisting with the exchange of information and the development of the settlement negotiations. You are both free and encouraged to obtain legal advice about legal issues that arise during the course of the mediation. Mediation has a high success rate. Lawyers can represent parties in the mediation process or parties can attend mediation without a lawyer.
Our family law solicitors can prepare you for the mediation and attend at the mediation with you with the aim of reaching a future focused agreement.
Visit our Client Info Centre for more information about the options available to you to resolve those issues in dispute.
With Collaborative Practice, you are in control of the process, the discussions and ultimately the agreement.
Collaborative Law is a relatively new way of negotiating agreements between separating couples in Australia. It is a method of dispute resolution in which you, your former partner and the two lawyers agree to settle your matter without going to Court and without threatening to go to Court.
An unique aspect of this process is that all parties (including your lawyer) sign a contract about how they will behave in the meetings. The contract becomes a powerful document which promotes fair and respectful communication.
We will be your advocate in the process and represent you in the discussions (or series of meetings) that you will have with your former partner. All information is shared between the parties and solicitors. With this assistance and in an atmosphere of openness and honesty you will be encouraged to work together with your lawyers to find solutions and an ultimate settlement that you both agree on.
Collaborative Law is recommended because it is client friendly, child focused, there is no threat of Court, it is quicker and less expensive than going to Court and the primary objective is transparency and communication between the parties.
Bruce Scott is trained in Collaborative Law. He is part of a network of collaborative practitioners in Queensland who can offer this low-conflict approach for Queensland couples. We are a member of a Collaborative Law Practice group based in the Northern Suburbs of Brisbane. For more information on Collaborative Law, visit Queensland Collaborative Law or phone us on (07) 3283 3377.
When other dispute resolution process have not been successful or are not appropriate it may be necessary to proceed to Court. There are different options for commencing Court proceedings in Queensland, each with its own costs and benefits.
In the event that you are unable to reach an agreement with your former spouse or partner, we have a team of Accredited Family Law Specialists who are able to represent you in every aspect of Court litigation.
Most matters we are involved in settle without having to go to Court. Even when matters go to Court, the majority settle without a Judge having to decide the case. Our aim is to resolve matters for our clients as cost effectively and satisfactorily as possible. However, there are some cases in which the issues involved or the expectations of one or both of the parties make it necessary to bring proceedings in a Court and in some cases have a Judge decide the issues at both interim and final Hearings.
We have acted in matters including all aspects of family law conducted in the Family Court of Australia. We also regularly appear in other Courts including the Federal Circuit Court of Australia which deals with most litigated family law cases, as well as in the District and Supreme Courts of Queensland. By providing the highest standard of litigation services, we ensure our lawyers stay up-to-date with the practice of family law - ensuring that the advice they give is as good as it can be. In this way, our clients can feel comfortable that, if they need to bring Court proceedings or respond to existing proceedings, they can do so with the confidence that their lawyer is highly experienced in the Court procedures and the law. In Court proceedings, we frequently work with the leading advocates, valuers and forensic experts who specialised in family law matters in Queensland.