The sorting out of parenting arrangements and the distribution of property following the breakdown in a relationship is inevitably a stressful time, but can also end up being a time- consuming (and costly) process.
Over the past decade or so, the law has required disputes over parenting arrangements to be dealt with at mediation as a first step, before court proceedings can be commenced. There are some situations (such as risk of abuse or violence to a child) where the Family Law Act 1975 (the “Act”) allows for court proceedings to be the first step to resolve a parenting dispute, but the idea is to try and keep matters that can be resolved by genuine negotiation out of court.
This is still not the case for disputes over the division of property following the breakdown of a marriage or de facto relationship. Whilst it is true that once family law property court proceedings are filed that cases are generally referred to conciliation before a court registrar, the matter has still come before the court (either the Family Court of Australia or Federal Circuit Court of Australia, both of which have jurisdiction in relation to family law matters), with the associated time and cost involved.
Court proceedings can, however, be avoided […] to read more click on link below:

http://www.pakenhamfamilylawyers.com.au/pdf/FamilyLawFinancialSettlementsArticle.pdf

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