There is a feeling of intimidation among many people when it comes to court appearance. This is why most family dispute redressal and settlement happens outside the courtroom by involving experienced family lawyers or attorneys from Strategic Lawyers Townsville. To arrive at an out of court settlement, your attorney will use various alternative methods of resolution by using the techniques of family mediation and negotiation. From kitchen table discussions to lawyer-assisted mediation and negotiating a binding agreement, different techniques help to resolve disputes on a happy note without going to the court.
When families face some irreconcilable differences that lead to serious conflict, it is best to seek help from an expert in family law who can advise about alternative methods of conflict resolution by avoiding the court that suits the parties the best.
Negotiations are mostly informal that involves the parties discussing the contentious issues related to marital discord, property-related or parenting. The discussions aim at reaching a consensus either in the presence of a lawyer or in private. Since the issues need to have legal approval to establish the rights of the parties, it is advisable to have a lawyer on your side. If required, the lawyer can also speak on your behalf. However, both parties don’t need to engage lawyers. Despite involving lawyers, they would try to agree without going to the court. On reaching the agreement through discussions, it must be written down and signed by all parties so that it remains legally binding upon all concerned.
Mediation is different from negotiation because it involves a mediator who looks after the interest of both parties and participates in the discussions. Besides lawyers, social worker and psychologists can play the role of a mediator provided they have the experience of dealing with conflicts. In the Muslim community, the religious head of Imam can mediate conflicts between couples and among the family members. Since no laws are governing the mediation process, a mediator may use any social or religious principle to resolve disputes and arrive at a settlement. The mediator must stay impartial, and it is up to the parties to accept or reject their advice or recommendation. However, to ensure that the settlement does not have anything illegal or irrational, it is better to seek guidance from a family lawyer.
An arbitrator must be conversant with family laws and act as a judge in settling family disputes as the process works within the legal framework. A case reaches the arbitration stage only when both parties exhaust their legal options, and the legal advice of their lawyers fails to resolve the dispute and arrive at a settlement. The arbitrator can make decisions about the division of property, child custody, payment of support and access but can neither grant divorce nor annul the marriage.
Collaborative family law
This is an alternative method of conflict resolution that involves the conflicting parties and their lawyers discussing the issues for resolving the problems. This is a faster, less stressful and cheaper process than going to court.
Consider your situation and decide which of the above methods would suit you