Sweeping Changes To Family Law System Heralds A New Pathway For Out Of Court Resolution

On 1st September 2021 the new amendments to the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia Act came into effect immediately and there are now mandatory requirements across all registries in Australia.

The new amendments have heralded what has been known as a ground breaking change in the way that family law disputes are determined by the courts and have placed a fresh emphasis on resolution of disputes without the need for litigation or court intervention.

It is hoped that only matters that specifically need judicial determination such as ones of significant risk to children or cases of abuse or complex high net worth property matters will ever require Judge intervention and all other matters can hopefully be successfully resolved without the need for expensive litigation.

Accredited specialist and head of Rafton Family Lawyers, a large practice and predominately based in western Sydney, has indicated that her firm has certainly embraced these changes which were long overdue. Kate Rafton indicated in a recent interview “the family law system has traditionally delivered excellent outcomes but at significant cost to parties and with significant delays. It is hoped that with a push to have parties and their lawyers considering resolution outside of the traditional family law pathway will ensure faster resolution of matters that actually require judicial intervention and enable parties to save significant amount of legal fees”.

To herald the new changes Rafton Family Lawyers is delighted to announce that Maurice Edwards has joined the firm as special counsel from 18 October 2021. Maurice is one of Sydney’s leading specialist family lawyers, mediators and arbitrators and will be heading up the new Rafton Arbitration and Mediation Practice (RAMP). With almost 40 years of family law experience, Maurice brings a wealth of specialist knowledge to the firm. He is an accredited specialist in Family Law (Law Society of NSW) and accredited Family Law Mediator (AIFLAM), an accredited Family Law Arbitrator, a registered Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner and a trained Collaborative Lawyer.

Maurice has obtained mediation qualifications both at Bond University and with the Australian Institute of Family Law Arbitrators and Mediators. He has trained overseas with Judges and other lawyers in the mediation of international child abduction matters and has for many years assisted in the assessment process of newly accredited mediators. He has conducted many mediations over the years and presented on the topic of mediation in family law at seminars and conferences both nationally and internationally.

Maurice is a Fellow of the International Academy of Family Lawyers, a Member of the International Bar Association and involved in the Family Law, Mediation and Arbitration Committees of the International Bar Association.

Maurice has indicated “when delivering family law outcomes, just a scent of collaboration or a sample of mediation or even a serve of arbitration, is worth more than a smorgasbord of litigation”.

Several other firms certainly across the Sydney Region have also embraced the new changes and are promoting both arbitration and mediation. Rafton Family Lawyers RAMP service is the leading service in Western Sydney and is currently taking bookings.

It is hoped that it will ensure a speedy and cost effective resolution for family law clients across Western Sydney.

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