There are many paths to reaching a final settlement that don’t involve you, or your former partner, needing to consider the Family Court making a decision for you. At Pemberton Robertson Family Lawyers, we actively encourage our clients to reach an agreement with their former spouses. Making a decision between yourselves allows you to:

  • Move on with your lives more quickly, with certainty about what that will look like for you;
  • Have child-related and financial arrangements that you can both live with;
  • Save money on legal fees by avoiding a Court battle; and
  • Avoid having a Judge or Magistrate tell you how much time you will spend with your children, or how much money and superannuation you will keep.

Almost all separating couples will be required to attend mediation, or at the very least engage in negotiation, prior to being able to commence proceedings in the Family Court. There are some limited circumstances where mediation is not appropriate and you can go straight to Court, but this is not the case for the majority of people. Mediation gives each of you a structured way to discuss the issues that are important to each of you, so that you can both be sure that you are both listening and being listened to.

Once you have an agreement, you can have the necessary paperwork prepared to make sure that you and your partner both stick to it into the future.

We set out below some of the options to reach an agreement and the ways you can make that agreement stick, without ever having to see the inside of a Courtroom.

  1. Reaching an agreement between yourselves without involving lawyers;
  2. Attending a mediation with your former partner that you have organised yourselves through either a private mediator, or an agency like Relationships Australia, Anglicare, or the Family Relationships Centre;
  3. Making a written offer to your former partner through your lawyer to settle matters and negotiating an agreement in writing;
  4. Attending a mediation-style conference, which is run by an independent mediator (often former Judges of the Family Court, or very experienced family lawyers) which you and your former partner each attend with your lawyers, to negotiate an agreement.

Your agreement can be in relation to your children, child support, and your finances. Once you have an agreement, there are a few ways to make these more formal, including parenting plans, consent orders, child support agreements and in some situations, binding financial agreements.

Contact us today to find out how we can help you reach a settlement and move forward with your lives. Our team would love to help.

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