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Alternative Dispute Resolution

There are numerous dispute resolution options alternative to going to Family Law court, including Negotation, Collaborative Practice, Mediation and Arbitration

Negotiation between yourselves:

You meet with your former partner and discuss possible alternatives to reach an agreement. This method works more effectively if you and your former partner are relatively amicable.  During this form of negotiation, you may contact our Gold Coast Solicitors for advice.

Negotiate via solicitors:

Proposals are made by letter (or by telephone) between each party’s solicitor. This method is successful you and your former partner are close to a resolution but may become costly and less time effective than other methods.

Collaborative Practice:

Collaborative Practice is a way for separated couples to resolve their family law issues without resorting to the expensive and uncertain Court process. Collaborative Practice is a relatively new form of alternative dispute resolution in Australia where you and your former partner each engage a collaboratively trained solicitor. The solicitors work as a team by conferring with you and your former partner in a series of meetings.

Both parties must sign an agreement promising that you will attempt to resolve the issues without the threat of Court and with co-operation and negotiation on an “interest basis” rather than “rights basis” meaning that the process is controlled by you and your interests and needs are the priority.  All information is shared between the parties and solicitors.

This option is recommended because it is client-friendly, child focussed, it is controlled by the clients, there is no threat of Court, it is relatively quicker and less expensive than going to Court and the primary objective is transparency and communication between the parties in particular communication going forward to enable effective future co-parenting.

With Collaborative Practice, you are in control of the process, the discussions and ultimately the agreement.

The bonus also is with this form of dispute resolution,  an independent financial adviser and family therapist can be engaged to assist by working with you to deal with any issues and provide practical options.

If you seek further information, please contact our Solicitors or click on the Queensland Collaborative Law website or the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals.


Mediation is an effective form of dispute resolution where you and your former partner meet for half a day or a full day to negotiate and resolve your family law issues with the assistance of an independent qualified Mediator. The mediator assists you by facilitating communication between you and discussing options.

Our solicitors can prepare you for the mediation and attend at the mediation with you with the aim of reaching an agreement.

This form of dispute resolution is compulsory for those with parenting issues prior to any Court involvement unless the matter is urgent or there is a safety risk to the child.

Arbitration (financial matters only)

Arbitration is a process whereby the parties nominate a private independent person named an arbitrator to decide how their property is to be divided or whether spousal or de facto maintenance is payable.

Contact our solicitors if you would like to go through an alternative dispute resolution avenue. Our experienced Family Lawyer, can discuss your options and put your mind at ease.

Contact Davoren Associates in Surfers Paradise with your query today.