Have you separated recently and are wondering what’s next. Have you heard from friends, neighbours, colleagues about the cost, delays and emotional toil going to Court can take? You are not alone.
Nearly everyone involved in the family law space will tell you that Court is the last place you want to end up. Most practitioners I know will do their best to keep you out of it and away from the turmoil that comes part ‘n parcel with going to Court. So what are your options then?
From a parenting perspective mediation is a great option. Being able to sit down whether that be in the same room, separate or even over the phone with a qualified mediator will really help to generate the discussion and keep you both focussed. The catch here though is that for it to work, both of you need to make a genuine attempt to resolve the issues in dispute. If you are going to turn up and disagree with everything that the other party has said “just because” the mediation will inevitably fail. If however you go there with an open mind and are willing to consider the needs, desires and wants of the other party and look at creative ways in which a solution can be reached then you chance of success will be much higher.
From a property perspective you also have arbitration as an alternate means to the Court room. Arbitration is conducted by a qualified Arbitrator and your lawyers. It means that both of you agree to put your issues, your evidence and your reasons to the Arbitrator and the Arbitrator will be able to make a binding decision. The Arbitrator may just be another lawyer or they may be a retired judicial officer. There are some distinct benefits with Arbitration that often get overlooked these being:
- You can choose your Arbitrator. You cannot choose your judge!
- The cost of Arbitration will be significant less than the cost of going to trial in front of a judge.
- The time involved will be significantly reduced as you will not have the delays that come with running a matter in the Court docket system.
There are a number of reasons why you would choose one of the above over the other, sometimes it is cost, sometimes it comes down to your ability to work towards a desired outcome in the midst of the relationship breakdown. Talking through the options can always help especially if you are both on board.