The family is the smallest social unit or group of any human society. Because the Australian society recognises this, it has established a family law system that deals with all legal aspects relating to family matters, including divorce, separation, annulment, child custody and visitation rights, child support, and even distribution of marital or family property. Because the Australian family law system is designed to protect and maintain family relationships, people are encouraged to settle family disputes out of court whenever possible. For that reason, family dispute resolution is considered to be a good alternative to court action.
If you have a parenting issue that you need resolved, there are lots of good reasons why you should have it settled through the family dispute resolution process. Read on to get acquainted with some of the top benefits associated with family dispute resolution.
- It is much faster: court proceedings often take a lot of time before the judge can make a ruling. This is because judges usually have a backlog of cases to determine yet they still have to allow the conflicting parties enough time to present their case before the court. Compared to the court process, family dispute resolution is much faster and thus saves on both time and money.
- It promotes co-operation and communication: the formality of the court process makes it rather difficult for couples to communicate with each other in a free and open manner. Family dispute resolution, on the other hand, makes it possible for parents to easily open up to each other and talk about issues that may need resolved. This enriches the ongoing parenting relationship.
- It is a flexible process: when it comes to court proceedings, couples have no choice but to obey the decisions of the court. For example, the conflicting parties will be expected to show up in court on the exact date and time specified by the court. With family dispute resolution, no decisions are imposed, as every decision is made based upon mutual agreements. Hence, individuals maintain control over the decision-making process.
- It is an effective conflict resolution process: as individuals are less likely to break agreements they've entered themselves, family dispute resolution is often a successful method of resolving family issues.
It should, however, be noted that scenarios involving violence, negligence, mistreatment or any other extreme form of abuse in the family should be exempted from family dispute resolution and subjected to court action.