Our family lawyers explain how to settle your matter out of Court


Our family lawyers explain how to settle your matter out of Court

Most people don’t want to go to court and would prefer to settle their family law matter with their ex-partner out of court. The good news is that most of our clients at Cairns Family Law Group are able to reach an agreement about their property and parenting (“custody”) matters without going to court. Our family lawyers encourage our clients to try and achieve an out of court settlement.

Some of the benefits of an out of court settlement include:

  • privacy;
  • more control over the outcome – you and your ex-partner control the settlement, not a Judge;
  • being able to tailor a solution that you can live with.
  • less emotional turmoil; and
  • less money spent on family lawyers!

There are many ways an out of court settlement can be achieved. There is never a one size fits all solution. Our family lawyers will discuss with you the best pathway for your matter.

Some of the options to keep your family law matter out of court are:

Negotiations by letters

Offers of settlement are often exchanged (between each parties’ lawyer) until an agreement is reached. Many matters are settled in this fashion.


Another common method of negotiating a family law dispute is a mediation. The mediator should be a qualified neutral person. Mediators cannot make a decision about the outcome of the matter. It is their job to facilitate the discussion and help everyone see the bigger picture, to hopefully help the parties achieve an agreement. Lawyers will normally attend a mediation with their clients.

We can recommend the best mediator to use for your matter, whether it is property or parenting matter, taking into account the issues in your matter and also the different personalities involved.

Collaborative Law

Collaborative Law is a fresh alternative for separated couples needing to divide their property and decide which parent their children will live with. Collaborative law provides a process for couples to negotiate in good faith free from the threat of court proceedings. It gives couples the opportunity to take control of their family law matter and work out their own solution.

Rather than each party “lawyering up” and working against each other to achieve the best result for themselves, the idea is that the parties and their lawyers work “collaboratively” as a team, to find creative solutions to meeting both parties’ needs. Of course, compromises will need to be made, and a party may not always walk away with everything they want, but a total “win-loose” scenario is avoided.

Other professionals may be involved in the meetings to assist the parties reach an outcome, such as accountants, financial advisors, valuers, and counsellors. All participating family lawyers and other professionals must have been trained in the collaborative process. Our Director, Catherine Ross is a Family Law Accredited Specialist and is trained in collaborative law.

Formalising an Agreement

If you can reach an out of court settlement either about your family law matter it is very important that you get legal advice about how to formalise the agreement in the best way for your circumstances.

If you do not formalise the agreement properly it may not be legally binding and may not be worth the paper it is written on!

Contact our family lawyers today for a fixed fee initial appointment to discuss your family law matter.

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