Resolution pathways are key to our practice. Our principal solicitor, Emalene Gemmell, is an Accredited Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner and Nationally Accredited Mediator.

When a family breaks down, Court is not the only option. Most separated families can reach agreement without filing Court proceedings. We assist in this process. Wherever possible, we adopt alternative dispute resolution practices. We do this because this approach can result in a more cost-effective and timely resolution of matters. If Court is necessary, we are passionate and dedicated advocates.

Choosing the pathway that is right for you

Your choice will depend on both you and your partner’s attitude to resolving proceedings.

We will work with you to identify a pathway and approach that is best suited to your needs, the circumstances and personalities of the parties involved, as well as your goals. To help you avoid the cost, stress and conflict associated with going to Court, we will attempt to use one or even a combination of non-litigation approaches to achieve a solution.

As family law specialists we understand the challenges you are facing, and we will use all of our experience, tools, strategies and resources to help you reach your goals, so you can focus on the things that matter in your life.

Pathway Options

  • Negotiation

    If your separation is amicable and you are able to communicate well with your former partner, you may be able to come to an agreement without formal mediation or entering the court system. This pathway is the simplest, quickest and most cost effective, and can foster a constructive approach to co-parenting. It is important that you understand your legal position so that your agreement is fair and sustainable in the longer term. As specialists in family law, we are able to provide you with expert advice and assist you in your negotiations, and we can help you formalise your agreement.

  • Assisted negotiations with a lawyer

    If you are unable to reach an agreement unassisted, we can work with you and your partner’s lawyer to facilitate negotiations. This may occur face-to-face, over the telephone, or in writing. This approach ensures both parties are appropriately advised on their legal position while remaining an amicable process.

  • Roundtable conference

    If your joint property and parenting issues are more complicated, you can hold a roundtable conference to discuss the outstanding issues and attempt to reach a mutually satisfactory agreement. This approach allows other specialists to participate if needed, such as accountants and financial advisors. It minimises the legal costs by reducing the to and fro of correspondence between your respective lawyers.

  • Collaborative law

    Similar to a roundtable conference, this pathway is a formal agreement between the parties to engage in a collaborative law process to resolve the matter. Each party also agrees not to initiate or threaten to initiate court proceedings. The lawyers are trained in a collaborative practice style which is a more holistic and less adversarial style than typically utilised by lawyers. This approach involves other practitioners and experts needed to assist the parties with understanding the property matters, the parenting issues, and the long-term goals of each party, and may include a mediator, psychologist, accountant and financial advisor.

  • Mediation

    If all informal negotiation strategies do not lead to a resolution, then it may be time for you and your partner to attend a mediation or a family dispute resolution (FDR) conference. This is where an independent third party acts as a go-between to narrow the issues at play, exchange offers, and facilitate a compromised agreement. The mediator will often be an experienced family lawyer or barrister who can provide guidance to each party as to what a reasonable outcome may look like. You are able to attend a mediation or FDR conference with a lawyer or by yourself. If you attend with a lawyer, then they will be able to offer you advice throughout the mediation, engage in negotiations, and draft final documents for you and your partner to sign if an agreement is reached.

  • Initiating proceedings

    If, despite your best efforts, you and your partner are unable to reach an agreement after reasonable attempts to negotiate, then your matter may need to proceed through a Court process to achieve a resolution. A Court process can be costly and take between 2 and 4 years to resolve. However, where conflict exists or you need to address complex issues, it is appropriate to consider initiating Court proceedings as a pathway to resolve your family law matter.

Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.

Marilyn Monroe