If you have a family law matter relating to an application for a property settlement and you are in the Court system in Australia, there is a way out.  Family Law Arbitration, private decisions with no published record, the ability to legally record the proceedings and the ability to have the final hearing on a day and time that suits you.

What is Family Law Arbitration?

Parties who are unable to resolve their dispute relating to how their property ownership will be adjusted following separation or a breakdown in their relationship have a couple of choices as to how they can have someone else decide for them.

  1. Appoint an Arbitrator to decide for them; or
  2. File an application with either the Family Law Court of Australia or the Federal Circuit Court of Australia.

The timeframe for parties to receive a decision after filing an application with either the Family Law Court of Australia or the Federal Circuit Court of Australia, they will have to wait for up to 3 years to receive an order and judgment from a Judge.

On the other hand, you can control the time if you choose Arbitration.  Most parties will walk away with an award from an Arbitrator that has the same ability to be enforced as an Order from a Judge within 3 to 6 months (depending on the circumstances and complexity of the matter).

Who is Arbitration for?

Arbitration is not for parents who can not agree on arrangements for their children.

Arbitration is for parties who can not agree on how their property will be divided following the end of their relationship.

How will Arbitration work for my family?

There are several steps that are common to all families who separate and need to finalise their financial relationship with each other.  They are set out below:

  1. Parties separate;
  2. Parties provide each other with full and frank financial disclosure to ensure they have complied with the Family Law Rules and Regulations (this ensures that any negotiations, orders or awards are being made correctly);
  3. Parties attempt to resolve their dispute;
  4. If parties are successful, parties enter into consent orders or a binding financial agreement;
  5. If parties are unsuccessful they can choose to Arbitrate or file an application with a Court;
  6. If parties choose to file an application with the Court they can always seek that the Court matter is referred to an Arbitrator by consent;
  7. Arbitration is chosen, the following will occur;
    1. Parties and their Lawyers choose their Arbitrator;
    2. Parties, their lawyer and the Arbitrator enter into an Arbitration Agreement;
    3. The lawyers and Arbitrator have a directions hearing or call-over, usually via telephone or video link to ensure that all the parties documents, applications, responses, affidavits, subpoena and other evidence such as valuations have been prepared and exchanged;
    4. Once that is confirmed the lawyers will inform the Arbitrator how the parties would like the Arbitration to proceed, on submissions, via cross-examination or just by the Arbitrator reading the documents alone “on the papers”;
    5. After the method of Arbitration has been chosen, a date will be selected for the Arbitration to take place;
    6. If the parties choose for a traditional hearing with cross-examination to take place, a venue will be chosen and parties will attend the hearing and be cross-examined by the other parties lawyers;
    7. Within 28 days of the last day of any hearing the Arbitrator MUST hand down their award;
    8. The award is sent to the parties lawyers;
    9. The parties lawyers are responsible for registering the award with the Court;
    10. The parties’ lawyers are responsible for lodging any objection to the registration of the Award or lodging an appeal if they are of the view that there is an error of law in the Award.

Why book Kelly Stanford as our Family Law Arbitrator?

Kelly has 20 years’ experience as a Lawyer and became a Mediator in 2016 and an Arbitrator in 2017.  Family Law has made up most of her practice as a lawyer representing parents, children and other family members in both parenting and property disputes.

While Kelly is a very straight forward and a no-nonsense type of lawyer she has a great ability to connect with people from all walks of life.   Kelly’s many years of experience in Family Law has given her great insight into people and the ability to communicate the law clearly and concisely and without jargon.

Kelly is also able to record the proceedings at no cost to you.

How much does the Arbitration cost?

Directions HearingsYESYESYESYES
Preparation & reading timeYESYESYESYES
Submissions On the Papers – no appearanceYES
Day 1: Appearance and CrossYESYESYES
Day 2: Appearance and CrossYESYES
Day 3: Appearance and CrossYES


Phone: 1300 444 LAW
Address: 6/21 Elizabeth St
Camden NSW 2570
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Phone: 1300 444 LAW
Address: Smart Work Hub - 351 Oran Park Dr
Oran Park NSW 2571
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