Arbitration / Mediation / Negotiation
At Paterson and Dowding, we promote the use of early dispute resolution for people experiencing separation or divorce who want to resolve children and property issues without the emotional stress and financial expense of initiating court proceedings. We can advise you which type of dispute resolution might best suit your circumstances.
We are experts in negotiating agreements between parties who are in dispute over their children and property. We will advise you about your rights and responsibilities under the relevant family law legislation, so you can decide whether to make or accept an offer of settlement.
If the negotiations are successful, our lawyers can translate the agreement into consent orders that can be filed in the Court.
Mediation is a type of family dispute resolution service which is aimed at resolving issues arising from separation and divorce in relation to children and property matters. The process is undertaken by a mediator who is independent of both parties.
Parties can attend mediation on their own initiative or they can be ordered to attend mediation after court proceedings have been commenced. Your solicitor can attend mediation with you.
If you reach an agreement at mediation, it will not be legally binding until an application is made to the Court for a consent order reflecting the terms of the agreement.
We encourage our clients to try and settle their family law disputes through mediation. The first step to any settlement is to arm yourself with full knowledge of your rights and obligations so that you can fully participate in the mediation and make informed decisions. This also minimises the possibility of an agreement being abandoned after mediation.
Arbitration is a dispute resolution procedure where an arbitrator considers the case of each party and makes a binding and legally enforceable decision upon the parties.
The procedure is not as formal as court proceedings. Parties can agree how the arbitration should be conducted, who the arbitrator should be and the type of formula that should be presented to the arbitration.
One of our partners, Carol Webb is a qualified arbitrator and can be engaged to arbitrate your dispute. Alternatively we at Paterson and Dowding have family law specialists who can represent clients at arbitration to ensure your case is presented in a thorough, competent and professional way.