Family Law: Alternative Dispute Resolution

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is a term that has become commonly used surrounding litigation. In relation to any family law dispute, ADR is now a compulsory requirement.

As the term implies, ADR is an alternative to litigation and it includes:

  • Mediation
  • Counseling
  • Family dispute resolutions
  • Negotiations between parties to reach an agreement.

ADR is very successful in family law matters

Approximately 95% of family law disputes settle. Court are required to hear approximately 5% of disputes. The figures speak for themselves.

However, among the 95% of maters which settle are those which settle at the steps of the Court. Normally, at that stage parties have spent large sums of monies, have filed all their documentation including affidavits making negative allegations against the other party and, in general terms, all the collateral damage to litigation has taken place.

Ideally, parties settle a matter via ADR early in negotiations and the matter settle out of court.

Further ADR information:

Do I have to go to court to get a family law settlement?

In the vast majority of cases former spouses settle outstanding matters such as property and children matters between themselves. The process to formalise an agreement reached between parties is relatively simple and inexpensive. Going to court is expensive and has, in a small number of cases, ended up costing tens of thousands of dollars when the outcome achieved does not justify it.

Many clients will have already reached an agreement to settle all outstanding matters with their former spouse by the time they see their lawyer. Our task then is to formalise that agreement legally. At elringtons we consider that an essential part of our role is to advise clients whether the agreement reached is appropriate or not. Read More … …..

Family Dispute Resolution

The family law system encourages parties to discuss and negotiate parenting arrangements and property settlements without resorting to taking the matter to court. Family Dispute Resolution (“FDR”), is the legal term for services that help people going through separation to resolve their family disputes. It is a form of mediation. FDR can be useful for many areas of family law including issues relating to property, children, child support, and spousal maintenance. Read More ….

Parenting Plans

Parents involved in a family law dispute about a child are required to attempt to resolve the dispute via counselling /mediation. This is a compulsory requirement. Parties are encouraged to enter into an agreement in writing about the future care of their children, a “parenting plan”.

A parenting plan may cover numerous topics including

  1. The parent with whom a child is to live;
  2. the face to face time and telephone contact and other form of communication that a child is to spend with the other parent;
  3. the allocation of parental responsibility for a child;
  4. the process to be used for resolving disputes about the terms or operation of the plan;
  5. any aspect of the care, welfare or development of the child or any other aspect of parental responsibility for a child;
  6. the child support that a parent will pay the other parent. Read More….

Parenting Orders

A parenting order is a set of orders made by a court about parenting arrangements for a child. A court can make a parenting order based on an agreement between the parties (consent orders) or after a court hearing or trial. When a parenting order is made, each person affected by the order must follow it.
A parenting plan is not legally enforceable. A court must, however, look at your most recent parenting plan if you apply later for parenting orders that are different from the plan. Your parenting plan must have been signed and dated for the court to consider it.
If you have any questions, please contact our Accredited Family Law Specialists:

Carlos Turini email:

or Contact our Family Law team on: 02 6206 1300

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