At our first meeting with clients we listen carefully as they describe their situation, and then assist them in understanding how the law would be applied in their particular circumstances. We also provide common sense strategic advice as to how to deal with any practical challenges they face. Sometimes after this session clients are able to proceed to negotiate with their former spouse, and if they can achieve resolution at this time it is certainly the quickest and cheapest way of resolving their problem.
After listening to, understanding and then advising our clients as to the law, and practical problem solving strategies, we then recommend negotiation, either directly between clients, or by way of correspondence with the other party and/or their lawyer. We find many matters are able to be negotiated and resolved at this stage by correspondence.
Sometimes as part of the negotiation process, either initially, or after an exchange of relevant financial information between the parties, we arrange a financial mediation to endeavour to reach a resolution through a mediated rather than adversarial process. We have found that with the right mediator, and with a constructive approach from the lawyers involved, most financial matters are able to be resolved at mediation.
If negotiation and mediation have not been successful, the only option remaining is to take the matter to court. We appear regularly in the Family Court and the Federal Circuit Court on behalf of clients. Our experience is that most matters that commence down the court pathway are still able to be negotiated or mediated as part of the formal court process. Unfortunately there are still a very small percentage of matters that need to go through to a full trial before a Judge before the matter is finalised.
Once an agreement has been reached under either steps 1, 2 or 3 above, or once a final determination has been made through the court process, it is important for a number of reasons that any outcome be properly documented so that the parties have clearly defined, and understand, their rights and obligations. Often there are complex tax and stamp duties issues to be covered, superannuation may need to be split, properties may need to be transferred or sold, and it is vital that any outcome is final and binding and cannot be reopened later down the track.
Always bear in mind this is general advice only, and you need to get specific advice on your individual circumstances.
Contact us on 1800 961 622 or complete our contact form to discuss your particular situation.
Macpherson Family Law are family law specialists – we know what you need to do.