So what disputes can a Family Law Arbitrator make decisions about?

What disputes can’t a Family Law Arbitrator make decisions about?

Advantages of Arbitration over going to Court

It’s all about Choice!

So how does it work?

  1. Directions hearing – set the timetable, set the format of the hearing, decide a date for the hearing, decide on a venue for a face to face hearing, parties sign Arbitration Agreement

  2. Compliance Check

  3. Exchange of tender bundles

  4. Hearing – via Video or in person

  5. Award delivered 28 days after final submissions

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 seek legal advice;


  3. 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);


  4. Parties attempt to resolve their dispute;


  5. If parties are successful, parties enter into consent orders or a binding financial agreement;


  6. If parties are unsuccessful they can choose to Arbitrate or file an application with a Court;


  7. If parties choose to file an application with the Court they can always seek that the Court refer them to an Arbitrator by consent;


  8. When 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 and dates for exchange of any further documents and the tender bundles (nb: a “tender bundle” is the documents / photo’s / videos / audio that are not currently in evidence, however will be shown to witnesses during the hearing and tendered) and any last minute affidavits or applications;

    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’s ability to apply the law to your family’s circumstances and communicate her decision in a jargon free way makes working with her easy and her awards make it easy for the parties to understand how the decision was made.

Kelly is also able to make an audio recording of the proceedings at no cost to you.

How Much Does The Arbitration Cost?

Directions Hearings
Preparation & reading time
Submissions On the Papers – no appearance
Day 1
Appearance and Cross
Day 2 Appearance and Cross
Day 3 Appearance and Cross
Award Writing