One Size Does Not Fit All

One Size Does Not Fit All

An article in today’s Advertiser has revealed a soon to be launched website that aims to streamline divorces and help divide property between separated couples, in a bid to reduce legal fees and assist parties to remain amicable.

At Belperio Clark, we are committed to helping clients achieve outcomes in respect of both property and parenting matters in the quickest, easiest and most cost effective way. However, a ‘one size fits all’ approach is fraught with danger, and may lead to unsatisfactory outcomes for many. Each family’s situation in the midst of a separation is different, and needs to be handled with care and attention.

The upcoming website appears to have been constructed around a database of past Court judgments and settlements, taking into account the separated parties’ assets and circumstances, and comparing them to other couples’ situations and the ways in which those have been dealt with in the Court.

It is important to note that family law matters that reach a trial stage and achieve outcomes imposed upon them by a Judge account for approximately only 5% of all family law matters. These matters often include dysfunction, where parties find themselves simply unable to negotiate (with or without the assistance of lawyers) and have no choice but to seek out the assistance of the Court. The outcomes achieved are most often lacking any input by the parties themselves, who may be handed something by a Judge that does not particularly suit them or their family moving forward.

The outcome any “app” or website may generate may not be suited to each and every individual. Each person’s circumstances are different, and each matter needs to be handled appropriately, and not with the press of a button. For every judgment that says X in relation to a particular set of circumstances, there’s a case that says Y, and parties need to be informed of all of the potential outcomes they could achieve by way of litigation or another process. There is not a one size fits all approach, and there are many non-litigious options and outcomes available to people, some that could never be achieved in a Courtroom or imposed by a Judge. In our experience, the most satisfying and durable outcomes and agreements are those to which the parties have contributed, and where each person’s goals, interests and concerns have been met. This is vastly different to a percentage of property being allocated to each party through an online forum.

There are many ways in which family law agreements can be reached without stepping into a Courtroom. At Belperio Clark, we advocate for a number of out of Court resolution process options, which can be found here: The family law system does not need to be stressful, expensive or overly complex, and the team at Belperio Clark is here to help each step of the way.

For more information about the options available to a family going through separation, come along to our free relationship breakdown seminar on 15 July at 5pm (or tune in at that time to our Facebook Live stream).

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