If your matter is not suitable for the Collaborative Law process, then as a first preference where matters are not urgent, we encourage participation in Alternative Dispute Resolution methods.
In many matters, agreement between the parties can be negotiated by various means, including negotiation and mediation. Parties who reach agreement by way of Alternative Dispute Resolution finalise their property or parenting matters on terms which are agreed between them, rather than an often unpalatable decision made by an unfamiliar Judge or Federal Magistrate.
Negotiations often take place by way of solicitors’ correspondence, and sometimes a round table discussion conducted on a “without prejudice” basis. This term means that any information during the process provided or obtained cannot later be used in the Court process if the matter needs to proceed down that avenue.
A mediation is a more formal process whereby a trained Mediator, usually another Barrister or Senior Solicitor who practices in family law, is appointed as an independent person to assist the parties to reach a negotiated settlement.
Mediations can take place either at a parties’ solicitor’s office, or in a mutual environment whereby premises are hired out, such as at a Barrister’s chambers.
Our spacious offices offer a large boardroom and breakout rooms, both on our ground floor and our first floor, in circumstances where parties do not wish to be in the same room.
Even if you do not reach agreement at the mediation, negotiations will often continue with the possibility in engaging in further mediation, or if there is clearly no ability to resolve the matter by way of mediation, then the parties can seek a Court determination. As with a round table conference, mediations are also conducted on a “without prejudice” basis, and the offers made during mediation and the information provided at mediation remains unable to be used against the other party at Court. This enables both parties to negotiate freely without fear of resiling from their position if they have to proceed to a Trial.