On 15 May 2019, Nadine Udorovic, Partner at Nicholes Family Lawyers, and Natasha Mastroianni, Associate at Nicholes Family Lawyers, joined the Women’s Information and Referral Exchange (‘WIRE’) in a panel to deliver information on navigating the family law system. The panel also included Danielle Lundberg, mediator and Psychologist; and Jane McKay, program manager from Court Network Inc.
Rebecca Dahl, Partner at Nicholes Family Lawyers, facilitated the discussion.
Nicholes Family Lawyers are proud to be longstanding supporters of WIRE, with Managing Partner Sally Nicholes assisting the organisation for over 20 years. Our firm has had a long association with WIRE and continues to provide pro bono support for in-house clinics providing women with advice.
The panellists spoke on a number of topics related to the Family Courts. The presentation was designed with the intention of preparing women with the information necessary to navigate the family legal system.
One topic covered by the panel was reaching an agreement without going to court. Danielle Lundberg discussed the process of alternative dispute resolution taking place with an Accredited Mediator. She went on to describe the aim of family dispute resolution being to help parties reach a mutually agreed outcome. Nadine added that the first step of collaboration is to figure out the common goals of each party.
The choice between the Family Court and Federal Circuit Court was also discussed. Nadine outlined that most matters are filed in the Federal Circuit Court. Cases of complex financial property matters; parenting and children’s matters that have elements of potential abuse; or, international issues are where you turn to the Family Court.
The panel highlighted the process involved in the family legal system. Nadine reminded attendees of the importance of which Court is correct for their particular matter to prevent delay or further costs. She said that workers at the Registry can guide self-represented litigants to help use the correct Court. Natasha added that the Court now provides information kits to help individuals prepare their court documents without legal representation.
Another topic discussed was approaching the Courts where there has been family violence in a relationship. Jane McKay discussed the options available. For example, if there are family violence concerns there are support workers who can assist in escorting individuals from a secure room to the Courtroom, and back.
Many other topics were discussed, including securing Consent Orders, seeking support, children’s matters, and divorce.
As always, it was a pleasure to work with WIRE to deliver helpful information. If you are a woman, non-binary or gender-diverse person in need of free legal assistance or even just general advice with non-legal issues such as seeking employment, financial literacy or computer classes, you can get in touch with WIRE by: