Other ways to sort it out
This is where you and your former partner (and sometimes children), receive counselling to work through difficulties in your personal relationships.
Family counselling can also help where you have been affected or likely to be affected by separation or divorce. This may include dealing with issues about arrangements for your children.
People involved in parenting cases in the Family Court may be ordered by the court to attend family counselling during the court process. Some services that offer family counselling are also registered as Family Dispute Resolution Practitioners, who can provide a certificate that you have participated in an FDR conference.
Collaborative law is a method of dispute resolution where the parties and their lawyers sign a written contract to keep the dispute out of court while they attempt to negotiate. It can be used in both civil and family law settings.
The parties must agree that during the process, they will not start court proceedings, or threaten to go to court, and their lawyers will not advise the clients to threaten or start litigation. The agreement comes to an end if the collaborative process is not followed, or the dispute is not settled despite everyone's best efforts.
If the matter later goes to court, the lawyers who were involved in the collaborative process cannot represent their clients, who are referred to new lawyers.
This helps to make sure that negotiations take place in an open and cooperative way from the start. If everyone agrees, independent experts (such as financial advisors or child psychologists), can be involved in the process to add important perspectives, reduce potential conflict and help support the parties.
Arbitration and Adjudication
This is a process where you meet with a neutral third person (who is usually trained in the law), who will listen to you and the other people involved and make a decision about what should happen. In most forms of arbitration, parties sign an agreement or contract to accept the arbitrator’s decision. In some cases, it may be possible to start court proceedings to challenge the outcome from an arbitration or litigate a dispute that was previously referred to adjudication.
Arbitration is commonly used in relation to worker's compensation claims and complex commercial dispute. It can also be used for family matters in Western Australia. Adjudication is widely used to quickly resolve payment disputes for construction contracts.
Family law counselling
- Family Relationships online - Separation and counselling
- Anglicare WA - Family law counselling
- Centrecare WA - Counselling and support services
- Relationships Australia WA - Counselling
Arbitration and adjudication
- Family Court of WA - Arbitration
- WorkCover WA - Workers' Compensation Arbitration Service
- Resolution Institute - Arbitration and Adjudication
Reviewed: 11 April 2018