Family Law matters can be a very stressful and confusing time.
Court Proceedings can be instigated if a party feels that they have exhausted their negotiation options or consider that they cannot come to an agreement. Court proceedings can be useful in coming to a transparent and fair outcome. However, disadvantages include potential increased costs (ie. drafting costs and legal fees) and time spent in the legal system (ie. matters before a Judge take time to be resolved as you are allocated court dates).
In some cases, Court proceedings may be the only option, including where there is an urgent issue that needs to be resolved by a Judge.
The Family and Federal Circuit Courts can make orders on a variety of matters, including Financial (eg. spousal maintenance) and Property matters (eg. the division of assets) and Child Matters (eg. “live with” orders). In most cases, an application will be filed and proceed in the Federal Circuit Court of Australia. Complexity or value of the asset pool may indicate that the matter should be filed or transferred to the Family Court of Australia.
For more information on assessing what your option are, and whether Court is ‘right for you,’ contact us!
Alternatives to Court proceedings
Many cases do not proceed to Court, and/or are resolved before the conclusion of the Court matter. There are a range of Dispute Resolution options available as alternatives to going to Court that can be beneficial in your matter, including mediation. Dispute resolution allows parties greater control over the process and outcome, and can assist in reducing costs. You may seek to attend initial dispute resolution with or without legal representation, however it is important you are informed of your legal options and avenues prior to same.