If you are considering filing for divorce, then you should seek legal advice as soon as possible. Sarah Bevan Family Lawyers is a specialist family law firm with specific expertise in divorce and other family law matters. We can assist you with filing for divorce and coming to a settlement with the other party. When most people think of divorce, they automatically assume that they are in for a long-winded court battle against their former partner. In reality, formal litigation is one of several methods available to reach an agreement with the other party. At Sarah Bevan Family Lawyers, we are experienced in collaborative law. Collaborative law refers to the practice of law utilising alternative dispute resolution methods. In other words, we use methods that will keep your case out of court. We have expertise in Mediation and Arbitration, which are both alternative dispute resolution processes. To find out if you can avoid a long and costly court battle against a former partner, contact Sarah Bevan Family Lawyers on 1300 00S BLF to book in a consultation. We have three convenient locations in throughout Sydney, in Parramatta, Crows Nest and Surry Hills.
The Family Law Act 1975 (NSW) defines divorce as:
The termination of a marriage otherwise than by the death of a party of the marriage
Australia operates by a no-fault divorce system. This means that when the Court considers the application for divorce, the Court does not take into account why the marriage has broken down or who was at fault. There is only one ground for divorce in Australia and that is, the marriage has broken down irretrievably.
In order to file for divorce in Australia, you must:
Furthermore, a court will only grant a divorce if the parties are separated and have lived separately for a continuous period of at least 12 months immediately before you file an application for divorce.
If the court finds that there is a reasonable chance that the parties to the marriage will cohabitate in future, then the court will not make a divorce order.
In some circumstances, the court will grant a divorce order to the parties if they are separated but living under the same roof.
What is Family Law Mediation?
Mediation involves the parties to the divorce, their representatives and other professionals mediating a matter. Mediation can be used to settle property and children’s issues. Due to the long waiting periods for courts listings to hear family matters, Australia has recently adopted a collaborative law process for dealing with family law matters.
Under the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth), the parties are required to obtain a certificate from a registered family dispute resolution specialist prior to filing an application for orders relating to children. While there are some exceptions to this rule, in most cases you will be required to obtain this certificate. Sarah Bevan, the Principal Solicitor of Sarah Bevan Family Lawyers is an accredited family dispute resolution specialist who can assist you undertaking the process to provide you with a certificate. This certificate will allow you to file an application for orders relating to your children.
The process of mediation offers several advantages over traditional litigation. These advantages will be discussed in the next section.
How can Mediation help me?
There are several advantages to using the mediation process, which you will not experience if your matter is litigated in court. One benefit of mediation is the fact that your case will remain confidential. Another significant advantage is that you retain control of your situation. The decision on how to settle your case is not left to a third party. If your case is heard in court, a judge will make the ultimate decision regarding your case. This decision will be final and binding. During mediation, you have the power to negotiate with the other party and come to a decision together, which you are both, satisfied with. Throughout mediation, you may negotiate on property and children’s issues. Each party will be able to voice their concerns and opinions, which will be taken into consideration when a final decision is made. Since the parties to the divorce are more involved in reaching a settlement outcome, it is more likely that the arrangements will be effective in the long term. Mediation tends to be significantly more cost and time effective than court. As mentioned earlier, waiting times to have your matter heard in the Family Court are extremely long. There is also significant cost to having your matter heard in court, including the cost of legal advice, representation and court costs.
If you believe that mediation may be used to settle your divorce, then contact Sarah Bevan Family Lawyers. We will utilize the knowledge and experience that we have accumulated over the years to help you reach the best possible outcome. It is important to note that mediation does not suit every single case. But rest assured, our divorce lawyers will consider your personal circumstances to come up with a suitable plan of action for your situation. Our lawyers are specialised in the area of family law, and practice solely in this area. We work on family law matters every single day, so you can be sure that our knowledge is up to the minute and our experience is relevant. To find out how Sarah Bevan Family Lawyers can help you move on with your life, call one of our friendly divorce lawyers now on 1300 00S BLF.