Family Law

Ford Family Lawyers undertake work in all areas of Family Law, including de facto relationships and same sex relationships, and including:

  • Divorce
  • Property settlements
  • Parenting matters
  • Spousal maintenance
  • Child support
  • Financial agreements
  • International child abduction
  • Advice on impact of Family Law Act on trust, corporate & partnership structures

The breakdown of a relationship is often traumatic and can be an emotionally confronting time of your life.  We will support you through the process of separation and will work with you to explore what is important to you and your family.  Our aim is to achieve a resolution of your matter in the most cost effective and timely manner possible and in a way which best meets your particular circumstances.

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Collaborative Law

Collaborative law is a process which gives parties the opportunity to resolve issues arising from the breakdown of a relationship in a dignified and respectful manner and in a way which best meets the particular needs, concerns and interests of the parties and their children. Unlike other methods of dispute resolution, the collaborative law process focuses on exploring what is important to the parties and their children and finding a solution which addresses their needs and priorities in a cooperative environment and without the threat of Court proceedings.

In the collaborative process, the parties agree at the outset not to go to Court or to use the threat of Court as a negotiating tool. The parties and their lawyers will work together in a series of meetings to reach a fair solution to whatever financial or child-related issues need to be addressed, with the needs and interests of the parties and their children at the forefront. Parties in a collaborative process will have access to a range of professionals involved in helping families and in appropriate cases, the skills of child specialists, counselors, accountants and financial advisors can be called upon to assist in the negotiations.

Underpinning the collaborative process is a commitment by both parties to act in good faith and to be open and honest in their dealings with one another including providing an open exchange of information. The process enables everybody’s viewpoints to be heard and discussed and by working cooperatively together, allows parties the best opportunity to preserve a respectful and constructive relationship for the future.

The parties control the timing and outcome of the collaborative process and will be assisted by their lawyers and other professionals to make decisions which work best for them. Resolution through collaboration will most usually be a quicker and less expensive option than litigation and other methods of dispute resolution.

If you are committed to resolving your matter respectfully and amicably, the collaborative law model may be suitable for you. Kim Ford is a trained collaborative lawyer and a member of the collaborative professional community in Sydney and internationally.

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Mediation

Mediation is a dispute resolution method in which a neutral party assists parties to identify the issues between them, assess their options and negotiate an agreement to resolve their dispute.

In mediation, the parties have the opportunity to hear each other’s viewpoints and concerns and are assisted by the independent mediator to reach a negotiated outcome rather than having the Court impose an outcome on them. In times when proceeding through the Family Court system can result in significant delays, costs and uncertainty, mediation can offer parties the opportunity to have a say in the final resolution of the issues in dispute between them and avoid the substantial risks of litigation. A mediated outcome increases the possibility of the parties being able to maintain a positive relationship into the future.

Mediation can be conducted with the parties only or may be lawyer-assisted. The cost will vary depending on the issues involved and the amount of time required to resolve the dispute. Mediation will always be a cheaper option than going to Court.

Kim Ford is a nationally accredited mediator in Family Law and member of the Australian Institute of Family Law Mediators & Arbitrators.

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Arbitration

Arbitration is an alternative dispute resolution method prescribed under the Family Law Act for the resolution of financial matters, such as property settlement, spousal maintenance and issues concerning Financial Agreements . It is a process in which the parties to a dispute present their evidence and submissions to an arbitrator who will make a determination to resolve the dispute.

Arbitration can be tailored to meet the particular circumstances of the parties’ case and can be conducted with or without lawyers. The arbitration does not require the same degree of formality as a Court proceeding and can be held at a time and place convenient to all parties.

In times where the Family Courts are under increasing budgetary pressures and delays to final hearing before the Courts are significant, arbitration enables parties to have their issues determined by an independent professional in a timely and cost effective manner. Arbitral awards will be provided within a specified period, usually no later than 28 days after the arbitration.

The arbitrator’s award provides a conclusive determination of the issues in dispute, subject to rights of review as specified in the Family Law Act, and is binding and enforceable.

With over 30 years of experience practicing exclusively in the Family Law jurisdiction, Kim Ford is well placed to provide financial determinations under the Family Law Act. Kim is on the panel of Family Law arbitrators prescribed under the Family Law Regulations and is a member of the Australian Institute of Family Law Arbitrators & Mediators.

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Litigation

Although the focus of Ford Family Lawyers in all matters is to promote the amicable resolution of issues arising from the breakdown of a relationship, there are occasions where this is not possible. Kim Ford is an experienced litigator having represented clients in an extensive range of financial and parenting matters in the Family Court of Australia, Federal Circuit Courts and Supreme Court of NSW. Thorough preparation and analysis is key to successful litigation and when Court proceedings are required, a strong advocate is required. Kim is able to draw on her wealth of experience in the Family Law jurisdiction to represent your interests in Court professionally and expertly.

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