Time is Money: Why Mediation could be a better solution to your Family Court matter
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How long will you be waiting to get your day in Family Court? Whilst the Family Court has fared better than the Magistrates and VCAT when it comes to keeping up with its case load during COVID, the estimated timeline for a case to run its course through the Family Court or Federal Circuit Court is anywhere between 15 to 24 months. However, even this timeline does not take into account all the complexities that may arise during proceedings, which could cause even further delays before the matter is listed for a Final Hearing.

Only 3% of matters will make it to the Final Hearing stage. For those that do go all the way, the financial costs can be very high. However, that fails to take into account the emotional cost of a trial that drags on for that period of time. The other 97% of cases are settled by the parties negotiating a final agreement outside of Court, which is then finalised by the Court, known as Consent Orders.

So how are those 97% of matters settled? And does every matter need to go through the Court in the first place? Mediation is often the most cost and time efficient way to settle family matters, whether they relate to children or financial matters or a combination of the two. Mediation when conducted with the assistance of specialist family lawyers on both sides is a methodical and practical solution. With the assistance of new technologies such as Zoom, mediation can even be completed without the two parties even needing to be in the same room!

At Freeman Family Law, not only are we accredited family law specialists, but we are also qualified in Mediation and Collaborative Law. Collaborative Law is a dispute resolution process which allows both parties and their lawyers to enter into a contract (the “Participation Agreement”) to endeavour to finalise any legal aspects of their separation or divorce without attending court.

The benefits of collaborative law and mediation include:

  • Can be cheaper than litigation
  • Outcomes are decided by the parties – meaning they’re more likely to be honoured
  • Enforceable terms

The most important thing, however, is to be proactive and seek legal advice. A consultation with an experienced family lawyer, such as Freeman Family Law, will give you a much clearer picture of the road ahead.

Whether you need help with a new matter, or you would like to try or retry mediation for a matter that is currently stuck in the Courts system, Freeman Family Law can provide expert advice and guidance to get your matter settled sooner so that you can get on with your life.

We have great experience in helping our clients settle tricky matters and we have even compiled a number of case studies that demonstrate our ability to get results.

Contact us today to book in a time to chat to our experts.

Freeman Family Law has been assisting clients for over 30 years on matters involving divorce or separation, complex financial and property issues, as well as advice on parenting and wills & estates. Book an appointment with an Accredited Family Law Specialist online or at one of our offices in Yarraville, South Melbourne, Caroline Springs, Essendon or Mornington.

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