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Out of court settlement

What Are the Benefits of Out-of-Court Family Law Settlements 

In the family law arena, parties seeking a resolution to their disputes that have arisen from the breakdown of a marriage or relationship are encouraged to make genuine efforts to negotiate ‘out of court’ settlements. Court-alternative means of dispute resolution in the family law realm offers hope for families traversing the often emotionally charged landscape of separation. 

Being able to avoid the litigation process, which is formal and can feel adversarial at times, creates more space for compassionate resolutions to be reached, and may result in more timely and cost effective outcomes. In many cases, one of the most profound advantages of an out-of-court settlement is the preservation of ongoing co-parenting relationships between parties. While there is no absolute here, in many instances, negotiating an out-of-court settlement can be much less emotionally taxing for all parties involved. This includes any children who may need to be included in the process to have their wishes and views heard. 

This is not to say that the process is without stress, but it is often far less so than a matter being heard before the court. Reaching resolutions through negotiations between parties enables those involved to have some control over the outcome of their matter. 

Should parties elect to proceed down the litigation path, the decision-making role may be deferred to a trial judge if the parties are unable to agree on a resolution and their Court matters require a final determination.  Having less formal settings and much more flexibility than cases otherwise heard in courtrooms benefits most families who choose to resolve family law matters this way. As Family Lawyers, we do aim to finalise cases as swiftly and cost effectively as possible for our clients, but we are also aware that fostering healthy post-separation dynamics, especially when there are children involved, is advantageous to all.  

By choosing to engage in good-faith “out-of-court” negotiation, families can steer clear of the adversarial nature of traditional court battles, avoiding additional emotional and financial strain during what is already a difficult period.  

Opting for an out-of-court settlement empowers families to make choices that align with their values and gives both parties time to discuss and mediate on the best plan of action, with legal guidance to help them achieve a fair outcome.  

Court cases can be emotionally gruelling and financially draining, regardless of their nature.  On the contrary, out-of-court settlements offer a more cost-effective and efficient route to achieving a satisfactory resolution.  

Many people who have been through Family Court express that it wasn’t easy emotionally and took a toll on those involved. This is more common if cases go to a final trial.


It’s important to remember that for a successful resolution to take place, both parties may need to be willing to compromise to reach agreement. Prioritising what is really important and where you have some flexibility from the outset creates a greater opportunity for outcomes to be reached in a shorter time frame. 


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