Are you going to Court?
The many stages in your family law matter
A number of clients start off their initial appointment with me saying something like:
“I definitely don’t want this to end up in Court.”
And what I like to impress upon them is this:
“Keeping your matter out of Court is absolutely our objective. The optimum outcome is when parties resolve their dispute without going to Court.”
About ninety-five per cent (95%) of all family law matters settle. That number of settlements includes matters settling at different stages of the case including, sometimes, after court proceedings have commenced. Sometimes, matters settle “at the steps of the Court” on the day of the final hearing
Going to Court /why parties commence Court proceedings?
There are many reasons why parties commence Court proceedings. Normally, parties do so reluctantly when other methods to resolve a dispute have failed. Sometimes, parties commence proceedings as a strategic move to force the other party to end the dispute. In our experience the most common reasons why our clients decide to commence proceedings are:
- The other party is refusing to engage in negotiations, for example, ignoring correspondence, failing to respond to requests for disclosure, failing to engage a solicitor;
- Where mediation/counselling has been attempted and was unsuccessful, with limited signs of ability to resolve any practical issues;
- Due to urgency, for example, relocation or removal of children, in circumstances of dire financial hardship and property matters and so-on.
The Different Stages in a Family Law Matter
The initial appointment
Communicating with the other party (The “Discovery Process”)
Informal mediation/counselling without going to Court
Formalising an agreement legally without commencing Court proceedings
Children’s Dispute and the Obligation to attempt Mediation/counselling
Initiating proceedings in Court
Court Event No 1 - The First Return Date
Court Event No. 2 (in Property Matters) the “Conciliation Conference”
Court Event No. 2 (in Children’s matters) / “Counselling”
After Court Event No. 2
Court Event No. 3/ Directions Hearing
Court Event No. 4 / the Final Hearing
We welcome you enquires with our Family Law Team. We are committed to resolving your matter at the earliest stage possible in your Family Law dispute. We will work with you to develop solutions to your problem, and do our utmost to ensure that we do so in a timely and cost effective manner.
We aim to resolve your matter amicably and through alternative dispute resolution, without the need to resort to costly and time consuming litigation. In the event that we do need to engage in litigation for you, we are experienced and well equipped to defend your interests and progress your matter successfully through the Court system.