Hi! My name is Ashma Arora. I’m a divorce lawyer and mediator and specialise in helping couples going through separation or divorce, reach an agreement about their parenting arrangements and property disputes – without going to court.
I’ve worked in Australia and the UK and know that the family law system is simply not working – I get told that every day and have been for the last 20 years.
Our court system is designed to be adversarial and there is never really a winner. The process is expensive and lengthy. But above all, it fails to recognise the emotional toll that ongoing conflict can have between separating couples and the long term psychological impact on the children, that get caught up in the middle.
Although I can’t change the system, I can certainly encourage my clients to find a solution privately – Mediation is affordable, effective and has the ability to improve communication, which can only be a good thing where children are involved.
My move to Australia was a time for me to reflect. To reflect on the type of work that I enjoyed doing and how I wanted to do that. It allowed me an opportunity to do things differently – a way to avoid the long drawn out court battles and avoid the emotional cost that I saw, in so many of those that I represented.
As my interest in mediation grew, I took up an appointment with the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal as Mediator – resolving civil disputes and increased my focus on mediating family disputes.
For those of you going through a family separation, especially where parenting issues require resolution, I encourage you to regard family dispute resolution as an opportunity – rather than a legal hoop to be jumped through before you can start court proceedings. You owe it to yourself and to your children.
I recognise that it is inevitable that some disputes are so entrenched that they will require the intervention of the court. But it’s not possible to know that your dispute is one of them unless you make a “genuine effort” – that is an honest, real- go at it.
As an Accredited Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner, Mediator and collaboratively trained Lawyer, I know that if you genuinely wish to see your dispute resolve, miracles can and do happen in mediation. And as for family law litigants – I know that they’d wished they’d tried a lot harder and earlier to find a solution privately.
I appreciate that at this present time, you may be worried about what the future may hold for you and for your children.
I have helped many families communicate their concerns with one another in a safe and respectful environment; I have helped them listen to each other so that they understand each another’s perspectives; I have helped them explore options for settlement and negotiate an outcome that works for everyone involved. With the benefit of legal information where appropriate, (not legal advice) this has assisted their decision-making process and agreements are reached.
So, if you have doubt as to the pointlessness of family mediation – think again. Mediation is often hard, but the experience of family litigation is likely to be much much worse.
If you need any further information, please do get in touch.