Family disputes are some of the most stressful and difficult situations to resolve. In most cases, the issues require the assistance of a third party, such as a family dispute lawyer.
At Owen Hodge, our family lawyers are here to help you every step of the way; whether you need legal advice or need help navigating the family court mediation process. If you have any questions, please get in touch with our experienced family dispute team.
What is a family law dispute?
A family law dispute occurs when two (or more) parties have a dispute about certain family law matters. Some of the areas in which a family can experience a dispute include:
- Marriage separation or de facto relationship breakdowns
- Property settlements, including dividing assets in divorce
- Proceeding through the divorce process
- Child custody and child support issues, such as:
- Educational concerns like the choice of school attendance and tuition costs, participation in extracurricular activities, attendance of school events etc.
- Children’s medical issues and decisions
- Grandparents rights
- Spousal maintenance
- Enforcement of Court Orders such as restraining orders, custody orders, orders of support
How do you resolve family disputes?
Family disputes are usually resolved in one of two ways.
The parties can each retain a family dispute lawyer who can facilitate discussions and assist with decision making.
If this avenue is unsuccessful, then the parties can engage in family law mediation. A family law mediator is trained and skilled in helping parties come to amicable agreements to settle their family law disputes. The process of family law mediation will allow the parties to work with their attorneys and a neutral third party. The introduction of a third party can often help facilitate better communication and offer new solutions to the issues that remain unresolved.
When is family dispute resolution not needed?
There are some circumstances where family law mediation will not be recommended. These instances include;
- A history of family violence
- Child abuse
- Sexual abuse
- Any safety issue that threatens any member of the family
How long does family dispute resolution take?
There is no set time frame for family dispute resolution. However, the process can move along more smoothly and at a faster pace if the family resolves their issues without needing to go to Court.
What happens during family dispute resolution?
Usually, the mediation process starts with an introductory meeting with all the parties. This can take up to forty-five minutes during which the mediator will review the rules of the mediation, and the parties will have a chance to inform the mediator of their current positions and the issues yet to be resolved.
From there, the parties can meet for as long, or have as many meetings, as they find useful and productive. The average length of a meeting is approximately one and one-half hours to two hours at a time. If the parties are making good progress, they can continue in this mode. However, at any time, a party can decide they do not wish to mediate any further and request to proceed to Court. In such situations, we highly recommend speaking to a family dispute lawyer.
How effective is family dispute resolution?
There are numerous reasons why family dispute resolution (with a family dispute lawyer or family dispute resolution practitioner) is the most effective way to resolve disagreements. These include:
- Retaining control of your final decisions
- The ability to determine child care and custody arrangements/parenting plan that truly works best for your family
- A more satisfying outcome for both parties
- Flexibility with your financial arrangements
- A greater willingness to comply with your final outcome
- Reducing the stress of appearing in Court and also saving time and money
If you require legal advice or assistance with a family dispute, Owen Hodge’s experienced family dispute lawyers are here for you. Call our family dispute resolution NSW team on 1800 770 780 to schedule an initial consultation.
Here’s what our clients are saying
My divorce has gone through without a hitch. Thank you for all your help and advice through this process.
Helpful and Supportive
During my divorce proceedings I was in a position I had never experienced previously and was not sure what direction to take.
Kristy Lee advised me in a way that was easy to understand but also firm & direct which to my surprise led to a favorable outcome and put an end to any future hardship I could have gone through.
I won my case at the Guardianship Tribunal
“I won my case at the Guardianship Tribunal yesterday.. After discussions with my mother, we agreed that it would be in my aunt’s best interest to have the Public Guardian take over as I just cannot manage her doctor’s appointments, support care arrangements, dental, optical appointments etc from so far away… I did however retain my Enduring Power of Attorney position, and it was upgraded to being my aunt’s Private Manager…
Many thanks to Christine Vrahas, Alice Holman, and James Kelly for all the time and support that was given leading up to the settlement of my Aunts estate.
Thank you Owen Hodge Lawyers Hurstville
I would like to send a big thank you to the team at Owen Hodge Lawyer Hurstville for their collective effort to resolve my late Wife’s estate dispute and all before Christmas.
Thank you, Kristy-Lee
I was always informed and reassured that the outcome of my case would be best for myself but most importantly moving forward with my children and my life.
Kristy-Lee has extensive experience and knowledge in regards to family law and her beautiful nature and considerate approach is what I will be forever thankful for.
Thank you Kristy-Lee Burns
I would highly recommend Kristy-Lee to my family and friends for family law matters that they have……
Thank you for making a difficult time easier for us
On behalf of the family I would like to thank you for the professionalism that you have shown in your handling of our mother’s estate. We appreciate it very much. It was a hard and sad time, but your kindness made it so much easier for us.
Thank you Family Law Team
Thank you for your time, effort and honesty in assisting me with my case this year.
Thank Debbie and James
Just a quick note to thank Debbie and James for the great work you did for Dad in the sale of his Greglea unit. You made the sale for me very easy to deal with and I appreciate the effort you put into it.