We help you by providing the advice you need to make the right decisions at the right time. The issues you face when you separate are complex – not only because you have to do things you have not done before, but also because at the same time as trying to face the issues, you are in the midst of huge emotional upheaval.
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. Others, such as written or oral negotiations, have been around for a long time.
Each is very different, ranging from the costly and complex process of going to Court, to the simple but sometimes equally confronting process of sitting down by yourself with your former partner. We are trained in all of them and can assist you in whatever combination you wish to use to resolve your matter.
However, you need to have at hand the advice required at each and every stage of the process – not the least when you decide which process of resolution (or combination of processes) will work best for you. Should you try and sort it out initially one-on-one with your former spouse? If you did, would you know what to ask for? Will you feel better in that process knowing that, if that fails, you are aware of what the next step will be, so there are fewer surprises along the way?
Some people like to negotiate. Others are horrified by the concept. At its core, negotiation is really all about communication and making sure that your point of view is being heard and hopefully understood (although not necessarily accepted) by the other party.
We help our clients negotiate their own solutions with their former partners. We can also undertake the negotiations for you. This can start with a telephone call and might move to an exchange of correspondence or ‘round table’ conference.
In each situation, it is vitally important that you do not take a step without having all of the advice you need to make an informed decision.
Mediation has grown in popularity in the past decade. It is ideally suited to Family Law matters as the mediator affords each of the parties a neutral communicator who can take some of the heat out of what can often be very emotional negotiations. Each mediation is different for a variety of reasons. The critical decisions are often who will be the mediator and what format will the mediation take.
We have worked with most of the leading mediators in Family Law in Sydney; also with some of the leading commercial mediators. We know how most of them approach trying to help the parties settle and can help you choose the mediator who will give you the most confidence throughout the process.
Mediation does not always mean that you have to be in the same room as your former partner for part or all of the time. Sometimes it is good for everyone to keep meeting together. At other times, an initial meeting is followed by a series of individual meetings with the mediator. Again, it is essential to work out which process will work best for your situation.
Most mediations will occupy at least one day, but sometimes will run for two days or longer. You will have agreed in advance how long the mediation will take. If you reach an agreement, your lawyer can then document the settlement and sometimes both parties ‘sign up’ on the spot.
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.
We have acted in some of the largest cases ever conducted in the Family Court of Australia. We also regularly appear in other Courts including the Federal Magistrates Court of Australia and the Supreme Court of New South Wales.
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, they can do so with the confidence that their lawyer is experienced in Court.
In Court proceedings, we frequently work with the leading advocates, valuers and forensic experts who specialise in Family Law matters in New South Wales.