Should I negotiate- Almost always, almost all the time at all stages. But how?
Mediation, Collaborative law and negotiation have many forms. Ranging from informal to formal.
Informal: You negotiate without advice. Bad. You negotiate after our advice – Good. You are the better negotiator – Go for it.
Medium formality – round table conference before court document s filed, clients and lawyers present.
Mediation before court. Minimal documents. 3rd party paid mediator, plus lawyers and clients. Rules or no rules about procedure.
Case Assessment conference – one benefit of issuing proceedings is that for the government fee you get a “free” assessment conference which gives you access to a court appointed lawyer with experience known as a Registrar. since everyone has filed some court documents, everyone knows what he case is about, and they are all there at the same time focussed on the same thing, at the neutral venue of the court. Solves most of the “ordinary” cases, and progresses the harder ones in the right direction. Good value for money.
Conciliation Conference – If your legal case goes beyond this you have a hard case. Another benefit of issuing proceedings is that for the government fee and the lawyers costs you get a “free” conciliation conference, which gives you access to a court appointed lawyer with experience known as a Registrar, for 3 hours. Settlement is highly likely. Everyone has filed some court documents, identified issues at the prior case assessment conference, probably had valuations, everyone knows what he case is about, and they are all there at the same time focussed on the same thing, at the neutral venue of the court. Solves most of the medium trouble property cases. Good value for money.
Door of the court – early stages, every stage. At every procedural or interim hearing and even at the final trial, you have the chance to negotiate. Usually, parties and lawyers are there, everyone knows what he case is about, and they are all focussed on the same thing, at the neutral venue of the court. Seriously hard cases still often settle here.
Do nothing – sometimes it’s all going well for you, time limits suit you or don’t apply, and you’re best to sit back. a rare one but sometimes the best. Get advice though.
Mediation – helps separating couples work out solutions relating to financial issues or relating to children. Mediators are impartial solicitors or Social Scientists (they cannot act directly for you) who have combined many years of Family Law experience with intensive training in mediation skills. This combination of practical experience and legal knowledge, together with a sympathetic approach makes Mediators ideally equipped to deal with all issues which might arise.
Some courts and tribunals may order you to try mediation before taking the matter to trial. Otherwise it is voluntary. This means you cannot force the other party to mediate – they have to agree. If you choose to mediate and an agreement is not reached, you can still go to court. Some outcomes reached at mediation cannot be made by a court.
Just Family Law will connect you with experienced mediators, skilled in assisting couples to reach mutually satisfying agreements. Mediations can take place over a number of weeks with one two-hour session per week, or mediations may be conducted over a full or half day, whichever is convenient to the parties.
Collaborative Law – You agree not to go to court. You agree to co-operate. If you change your mind and want to go to court you change lawyers. Both lawyers and clients have a reason to settle. It is extremely formal, involves multiple meetings, and often costs more than court. Usually the people who take this path could settle anyhow. Sometimes abused to gain time delay. Not our usual preferred option but worth considering.
If want more information on collaborative law please contact us on (03) 9793 7888 to discuss your situation.