If you and your partner can come to an agreement without going to court you will
save considerable time and money. You will stay in control of the process as your matter is resolved.
If you can’t figure things out a judge will do it for you –but by then you will have very little say in how your matter resolves.
How you negotiate is going to make a big difference to the toll the process takes on you
– financially and emotionally.¨
If you and your ex are able to sit down and work out how you are going to divide your stuff and look after your kids, coming up with an agreement between the two of you can be one of the quickest and easiest ways to resolve your relationship breakdown.
If you’re still getting on reasonably well; perhaps you are separated but still living under the same roof; despite going your separate ways you may still agree on the same priorities, things like your kids or mutual financial security; or maybe you don’t have any kids and it’s just a logistical exercise.
There are lots of circumstances where this can work. Once you agree its simply a matter of formalising your agreement.
You might chat to a lawyer to ensure you are making a legally sound decision and you might engage a lawyer to help you complete the legal paperwork. Formalising your agreement legally is important so everyone knows where they stand and it will help with things like refinancing, transferring property and providing some tax exemptions.
The real beauty of a kitchen table agreement is that it is decided completely by your and your ex and you can take control of the process and your future.
If you and your ex are determined not to go to court but you are struggling to understand their position on something, mediation can be invaluable.
There are now many mediation options available, ranging from low-fee government affiliated services through to former judges working as mediators.
Most people looking to resolve their matter expeditiously land somewhere in the middle.
Bright Side offers solution-focussed private mediations for people who are not already engaged in the court process. Mediations usually run for the best part of a day with the idea being that by the end of it, you and your ex will have reached an agreement that can be easily converted into court orders.
This is a chance for both of you to step away from the positions you may have become stuck in and listen to your ex. Your mediator is impartial and won’t give either of you legal advice, but they will make sure the mediation is an environment where all opinions can be expressed and all options for resolution canvassed.
Mediation can get hard but it’s also a chance to say the things that may not have come up in legal discussions. It’s time to get to the heart of what is stopping either of you coming to agreement and move forward. From there the mediator can work with both of you to generate settlement options, then canvas how those options could practically work.
There are a range of ways you can participate in a mediation. At bright Side mediators are part of our collaborative team, so after you have had initial legal advice, you and your ex can go into your mediation with or without a lawyer. After, our lawyers can finalise all the legal paperwork for you to ensure your agreement is formalised as quickly as possible.
Collaborative practice is a legal process that uses lawyers alongside professionals who can help in a family law situation – such as financial advisors, counsellors, child specialists – to create a situation where clients have the best opportunity to solve problems themselves.
Collaborative practice can create value beyond what most traditional legal processes provide. It’s about creative problem solving.
A collaborative approach ensures that you and your ex – and each of your lawyers – are moving through each stage together and working towards common goals, legal and non-legal.
Collaborative practice focuses on the family problem as much as the individual problem. We pool knowledge and, if necessary, bring in help from family experts as part of the problem-solving process. We can consider things that are problems for both parties which goes a long way in breaking through stalemates.
The main focus is on your interests and values. We base our negotiations on a solutions-focussed model that looks to the future. It’s about your goals and interests and what we all need to do to achieve them.
This is the traditional way family law matters have been handled and, if your ex has already engaged a lawyer, it can still be an efficient way to resolve your matter. It doesn’t mean you have to end up in court.
Sometimes dealing with another lawyer can be difficult, but unavoidable, and it’s a hard thing to do on your own. We are happy to help you through this process, using our legal knowledge to make the path as smooth as possible.