amica – An Online Dispute Resolution Tool
Launched in June 2020, amica is a multi-award winning online dispute resolution tool helping separating couples to resolve their family law disputes online without going to court and with minimal costs.
An initiative of National Legal Aid and the Legal Services Commission of South Australia, with funding from the Attorney-General's Department, amica is an Australian initiative that uses smart technology to make separating simpler.
amica supports separating couples to negotiate and reach agreements about their parenting arrangements and division of property. Users can opt to pay a modest fee for amica to produce written documents that record decisions reached.
There is also family law information, links to existing information resources and referral services in each state and territory, including family counselling and legal assistance services.
amica for parents
Separating couples can use amica to work out and record parenting arrangements for their children. The parenting component uses smart technology that prompts separating couples to consider arrangements for handovers, special occasions, education and healthcare.
The information entered into amica can be used to create a parenting plan which can be signed electronically by both parties. Parenting plans are not legally binding. However, a court will consider the terms of the latest parenting plan if a matter later goes to court. A parenting plan is flexible and can be adapted or remade as your circumstances change (for example, as your children get older).
Dividing your property with amica
For property matters, amica's artificial intelligence (AI) provides separating couples with a suggested division of property based on an analysis of their circumstances; agreements reached by other separating couples in similar situations; and how courts generally handle disputes of the same nature.
Once an agreement is reached, amica can be used to help separating couples to formalise their agreement, for example, by producing an application for property consent orders.
Accessing family law information and assistance with amica
The amica website provides a range of family law information to help separating couples. It also steps separating couples through a series of questions to work out if amica is right for them.
amica is suitable for separating couples whose relationship is reasonably amicable and not complex.
It is not suitable in certain circumstances, including where there are family violence concerns, statutory time limits have expired, where the separating couple want to split their superannuation or where there are dependent children over the age of 18, or children from another relationship.
If amica is not suitable, the website refers separating couples to legal assistance and other support services in their state or territory. These services include family violence, social support, family and financial counselling and support for children.
You can find out more information about amica, including whether it is right for your circumstances, by visiting the amica website.