Looking for an alternative to family court proceedings?

Posted on Jun 27, 2018 by Rebecca Furner   |   Categories: Family Law

Who wouldn’t like to go to court every few months for two years until finally you have a date for the final hearing? The delays in the family law system can cost you financially and emotionally.

But what’s the alternative?

Maybe it’s Arbitration. Arbitration is a (relatively) cheap and quick alternative to court proceedings. It is available for parties with a financial dispute and can be used to resolve the whole of the matter or just one part.

Arbitration is a bit like court proceedings high on caffeine. The timetable set can mean your matter goes before the Arbitrator (the “Judge”, jointly appointed by the parties) within weeks of initiating the process and putting together your evidence.

The arbitration can be run quickly and simply by the Arbitrator making a decision based only on the parties’ written statements, or you may like to make brief oral submissions as well, or you may even require the parties or other witnesses for cross-examination.

Finally, the arbitrator’s decision (“the award”) is final* and can be registered with the family law courts and enforceable just like a court order.

*One of the parties may wish to object to the registration of the award as to form, or otherwise review the award on questions of law, or seek to set aside an award on the grounds that:
a. the award or agreement was obtained by fraud (including non disclosure of a material matter); or
b. the award or agreement is void, voidable or unenforceable; or
c. in the circumstances that have arisen since the award or agreement was made it is impracticable for some or all of it to be carried out; or
d. the arbitration was affected by bias, or there was a lack of procedural fairness in the way in which the arbitration process, as agreed between the parties and the arbitrator, was conducted.

The above processes are somewhat similar to the actions you may take if you were dissatisfied with a court order at the conclusion of a final hearing in front of Family Law Judge.

If you would like more information about Arbitrations and other alternatives to lengthy court proceedings, contact Baker Love Lawyers (02) 4944 3322.