The majority of family disputes can be settled out of court using alternative dispute resolution, provided the parties are willing to come to an agreement. There are many services available that occur in an informal setting with the aim of facilitating reconciliation or assisting in the divorce process.
If there is no chance of reconciliation, they can assist with matters relating to children, property and finances as well as providing counselling services to help families communicate more effectively and cope with the breakdown of the family unit.
There are many benefits of using these services as opposed to lengthy court proceedings such as:
- They are less adversarial than a court setting as the purpose is for both parties to reach an agreement
- They are often less stressful
- They are more cost-effective
- They allow for more control
- They can improve communication with your spouse
A court can divert parties from going through litigation by referring them to the following services:
- Family counselling
- Family relationship advice line
- Family relationship centres
- Family dispute resolution
- Arbitration-this process is available to parties who are unable to reach an agreement. Both parties will be given the opportunity to present their case to an arbitrator, who will subsequently make a decision
The purpose of these services is to minimise the need for court intervention where possible.