Victoria Legal Aid

Legally assisted family dispute resolution helps Tran and Henry to reach an agreement about the care for their child.

Days before their final court hearing date, we supported Tran and Henry (names changed for privacy) to participate in legally assisted family dispute resolution. It was hoped by their legal representatives, that through the mediation process that they might be able to reach an agreement about the care of their daughter. If Tran and Henry couldn’t reach an agreement together, it would mean that a judge would make a decision for them about the care of their daughter at the final court hearing.

Both parents were uncertain about the mediation process as they felt that their conflict with one another would prevent them from working together to reach an agreement. At the beginning of the mediation, there were several issues that Tran and Henry strongly disagreed on, but both parents were in agreement about wanting to have equal shared care of their daughter. During the mediation, the lawyers assisted Tran and Henry to express their concerns and explore different options that helped them to work through their dispute, and previous disagreements, step by step.

By the end of the mediation, Tran and Henry had successfully committed to a long-term plan to care for their daughter which allowed their daughter to continue participation in after school activities and have equal time with each parent during the school year. Most importantly, the plan that they had developed would ensure that their daughter’s development needs were well taken care of and she was kept happy and safe.

Following legally assisted dispute resolution, Tran and Henry were able to provide the judge with draft final parenting orders, with just one issue left to resolve at the final hearing. At the final hearing, the judge praised Tran and Henry for working together to reach a long-term care solution for their daughter. The judge also recognised the role of legally assisted dispute resolution in helping Tran and Henry to focus on their daughter’s needs and work cooperatively to reach their own agreement.

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Disclaimer: The material in this print-out relates to the law as it applies in the state of Victoria. It is intended as a general guide only. Readers should not act on the basis of any material in this print-out without getting legal advice about their own particular situations. Victoria Legal Aid disclaims any liability howsoever caused to any person in respect of any action taken in reliance on the contents of the publication.

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Reviewed 17 March 2022

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