We have over 40 years’ combined experience helping families going through relationship breakdown. We provide the support and guidance needed for all parties to reach an agreement on matters affected by the dissolution of the partnership or marriage.
Relationship breakdowns can be a traumatic time for all involved. We are committed to ensuring where ever we can, that our client’s needs are met in a compassionate, fair and equitable manner in a system that at times does not promote compassion, equity and fairness.
Merridy Elphick Lawyers understand that every relationship brings with it a unique set of circumstances. Our family law experts take the time to understand the matters that require resolution and work closely with our clients to achieve the best possible outcome for their family.
We have extensive experience in negotiating settlements relating to the distribution of property and financial resources following the dissolution of a marriage or an established de facto relationship. Our team has a thorough understanding of the complexities that can arise during negotiations that involve arrangements such as family trusts, family businesses and self-managed superannuation funds.
The team at Merridy Elphick Lawyers always strive to have parenting arrangements resolved in a timely manner.
Our familiarity with the Family Law Act and the principle concern of what might be deemed ‘in the child’s best interests’ allows us to get to the core of matters in dispute and ensure that the best interests of the children are the focus of all discussions.
Our clients in same-sex or de facto relationships are subject to the same laws and Courts as all other clients in matters relating to property and financial settlements following the breakdown of their relationships.
Similarly, the same laws apply to families of same-sex and heterosexual relationships regarding parenting and child support arrangements.
Regardless of whether the breakdown of marriage has been amicable or not, it is advisable for both parties to engage their own solicitor who has specialist experience in the Family Law jurisdiction.
For a divorce to be granted, certain steps must be taken and criteria met.
Merridy Elphick Lawyers are enthusiastic advocates for Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) as efficient and cost-effective models used to assist parties settle their matters and or in many circumstances to narrow the issues in dispute. The most common models of Alternative Dispute Resolution used in Family Law include Mediation, Arbitration, and Conciliation.
Not all disputes can be resolved through Alternative Dispute Resolution, and as a result, they can end up before the Courts. It is important if you find yourself in this situation, that you are guided and represented by a qualified and experienced lawyer.
Mediation is an effective alternative to costly litigation that has the potential to provide clients with the opportunity to achieve outcomes in a timely manner for parties in dispute about property and/or children’s arrangements. Mediation can provide an opportunity for parties to retain a level of control over potential outcomes not available when a Judge might decide a matter.
Mediation is conducted by a Neutral facilitator and relies on the Confidentiality of the mediation to provide participants with an opportunity to have their concerns addressed, consider the issues raised by the other side and then brainstorm solutions to the problems raised.
The Courts have for many years Ordered parties to attend Conciliation with regard to their Property matters. Parties will prior to the Conciliation provide to each other and the Court a Balance sheet reflecting the values of the assets and debts they say are to be considered in any property adjustment. Often, a Registrar of the Court will conduct the Conciliation and will give the parties some guidance as to what they consider the parties respective entitlements may be if the matter were to be decided by the Court. Like Mediation the issues discussed at Conciliation are in most cases confidential.
Arbitration unlike Mediation or Conciliation is not confidential. Both parties provide to the jointly appointed Arbiter Affidavits and financial statements as they would for a Court Hearing. The advantages of Arbitration are that the parties are able to choose who will be appointed as the Arbiter and the are often conducted much sooner than a Hearing. The Arbiter will consider the facts and evidence as alleged by both sides and make a determination that in most instances is then binding on the parties.
If you require help in any area of Family Law, Newcastle’s Merridy Elphick Lawyers have the experience and expertise to resolve matters skillfully and in a timely manner. For a confidential discussion on how our team can assist you, contact us today.