Simple Dispute resolution methods: Can we resolve the conflict ourselves?

No matter how close you are, all families argue at one time or another. Sometimes these disagreements can escalate and may require formal mediation to resolve them.  Family courts are designed to provide support and legal representation to individuals and families during civil proceedings. However, there are many alternative options and it’s important to explore every avenue for conflict resolution before taking the matter to court.

Negotiation, mediation and arbitration are just a few of the dispute resolution alternatives available. Whether you are involved in a small family dispute or a lawsuit involving thousands of dollars, these methods of dispute resolution can result in a fair and reasonable outcome for both parties. By employing alternative dispute resolution methods, you may reduce the financial and emotional cost of legal proceedings and improve communication with your family member for the future.

The following describe some of the alternative dispute resolution options available:


Negotiation is the most basic means of settling differences. It is back-and-forth communication between parties with the goal of trying to find a solution to the conflict. An individual may wish to negotiate directly with the other person or hire an attorney to negotiate on their behalf. Negotiation allows you to participate directly in decisions that affect you. In the most successful negotiations, the needs of both parties are considered. There are no strict procedures to follow but it works best if all parties agree to remain calm and work together.


Mediation is a voluntary process in which an objective third party assists communication and facilitates negotiation between parties. A mediator does not make a decision nor force an agreement. Instead, the parties directly participate in negotiating their own settlement or agreement. Most people uphold a mediated agreement because they were a part of making it. It can become a contract and be enforceable.


Arbitration involves submitting evidence in a disputed matter to an impartial person for resolution. The arbitrator controls the process and will listen to both sides before making a decision. Like in court proceedings, only one side will prevail. If all parties agree to be bound by the decision an arbitrator’s award can be enforceable by law.

The best method of conflict resolution will depend upon your personal needs and the nature of your dispute. You may want to consult with an attorney to help determine which process best serves your particular situation.

Looking for family lawyers in Brisbane? Rostron Carlyle’s highly trained team of family law solicitors can assist you in seeking alternative conflict resolution.  For more information, visit their website or call them on (07) 3009 8444 and start working towards a resolution today.

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