Video Transcript:

Hi and welcome to Video 2 of Module 7 of the series. My name is Bani Mishra, and I'm a Senior Associate here at Pearsons Lawyers. If this is the first video of ours that you've seen, I highly recommend that you start at the beginning.

The first module contains two checklists of important actions that you need to take right now before proceeding any further. To get there, you can access the Pearsons' YouTube Channel or the Pearsons' website and just follow the links.

In this video, we'll be talking about an important question that cuts across all the other topic areas. That is, "What are the different ways to settle?" So, if you're ready, let's begin.

If you've watched all of our videos, you know that we have covered a lot of ground. So, by this stage, a lot of people are wondering "What do we do next?" When we see people in our office, the first thing that we talk about
is negotiating.

The starting point in relation to any property dispute involves looking at ways to negotiate and ways to settle. In doing that, we consider the pre- action procedures as part of the Family Law Act, which requires parties to try and resolve matters before they go on to looking at other methods of settling.

So, the first step is to find out the financial position of the parties. We do this by way of exchange of letters between the parties and their solicitors. We try to establish what the financial position is so that we can better advise you and make an assessment as to the most appropriate proposals to put to the other side.

The best case scenario for the parties, whether they've already negotiated and have come to us or whether we negotiate on their behalf, is that when we reach agreement we can formalize those orders by way of Consent Orders.
So, what would happen is that the parties would provide their terms of agreement.

We would then prepare those documents, each of the parties would sign those,and they would be submitted to the court for the court's approval. This process is known as the Application for Consent Orders.

In this process, the court has to be satisfied that the property orders that are being sought by the parties are, in fact, just and equitable. If they are, the court then approves those orders and the parties now have final property orders which they can rely on.

In the event negotiations aren't as successful, the parties can consider looking at certain other methods including Private Mediation. When considering Private Mediation, the parties do have a level of control.

They can control who the Mediator will be, they can control where the venue will be, and they have much more scope to put forward their ideas without having to worry about a court determination. Those are the advantages of having a Private Mediation.

In contrast, the downside of having a private mediation can often be the cost which involves having to pay for the venue and having to pay for that Mediator as well as the attendance of your solicitors.

There are circumstances where you can have conferences or mediation that is between the parties and their solicitors alone. However, not having a mediator involved can create some uncertainty.

Having looked at these potential methods of settlement, if the parties can resolve their matters either by way of a Private Mediation or through round table discussions with the other party and their solicitor, then, again, you can engage the Application for Consent Orders process and have those final orders made.

In the event that you're not as successful as you'd like to be and we are back in the position of where to go next, we then have to consider: A) Whether there are any urgent issues, and B) Whether or not we now need to go to court through the court process.

If it is the case that there are urgent issues where, including certain things where the parties may not have access to funds or there may be one party refusing to leave the premises, all of these issues need to be dealt with urgently and can be accessed through the court process. If that is the case, you can choose whether or not you deal with any court application through the Federal Magistrate's Court or through the Family Court.

Both courts have their advantages and disadvantages. The Family Court provides two court-appointed mediation sessions essentially known as "conferences." However, the Federal Magistrate's court only allows for one conciliation conference.

Again, you can discuss with your lawyer which will be of more benefit to you; however, generally speaking, the majority of cases go through the Federal Magistrate's Court because it is easily accessible and more cost-
effective. The Family Court is generally reserved for more complex cases and for when you have more time on your hands to resolve matters. So, that's a decision that you can make with your lawyer.

If in the event that you can come to an agreement during the court process, you can of course resolve matters by way of consent through a similar process where both of the parties sign a minute of consent and they hand
that to the court to formalize. It's not the same as the Application for Consent Orders process and in many ways it's more simple. That's it for this video. The next video is on same-sex settlements. So, when you're ready, head on over to Video 3, Module 7 of the series.

All our videos in this Youtube series can be found through the Pearsons Youtube Channel at http://youtube.com/pearsonslawyers or by visiting the Pearsons website at http://pearsonslawyers.com.au and following the links.

Alternatively, if you know that its simply time to see a Family Lawyer, please contact us for a free initial consultation. Please be advised that we must complete a conflict check so that we can only represent one party in a Family Law matter. So if your partner is watching this same Youtube series and engages our services before you do, we advise that we may not be able to talk to you.

Whatever it is that you choose, its our wish that throughout this Youtube series, you can finally gain a sense of certainty so that you know where you stand.

 

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