From the category archives:


The Legal and Emotional Risks of Surrogacy

by Bree Staines on October 15, 2016

Bree Staines

It was recently reported in national media that a Queensland family was enduring an emotional and legal nightmare after the breakdown of the surrogacy relationship between the intended mother and the women pregnant with the child. Whether it was the effects of pregnancy and hormones, or the unexpected reality of what was taking place, the emotional distress by both the … Read more

Felicity Reeman

Bravehearts Founder, Ms Hetty Johnston, made comments in a recent interview with the ABC that the Australian family law system is “sending children to live with convicted sex offenders” because “it’s not listening to hospitals, it’s not listening to doctors, it’s not listening to counsellors. It’s listening to court-appointed experts and ICLs who know nothing of child mental health development … Read more

Hooray! Final Orders, It’s Over…Or Is It?

by Kate Marr on October 14, 2016

Kate Marr

When parenting proceedings have been finalised, when you have sealed court orders setting out the parenting arrangements, you may feel many different emotions, including sorrow, relief and/or happiness.

The Orders made by the Court are made with the view that they will continue to apply until the child / children is eighteen (18) years of age. However, in the event … Read more

Zoe Durand

In my previous work as a Court appointed Independent Children’s Lawyer, and also through my Graduate Diploma of Family Dispute Resolution, I have come to consider in detail the social theories that often underpin what is regarded as best for children in parenting matters before the Court.

As part of developmental psychology Erik Erikson proposed 8 life stages a person … Read more

When is a Smack Too Far?

by Natasha Heathcote on October 13, 2016

Natasha Heathcote

It is quite common for parents to ‘discipline’ their children with a light smack on the bottom, but when is that going too far and putting the child at risk of abuse.

Along with cultural shifts in the last few decades the disciplining of children has changed. It used to be common for children to receive a belting or a … Read more

Karen Devey

In the recent Family Court Decision of Mizzi & Wilson [2015] FamCA 881, Cronin J declined to engross consent orders signed by both the mother and father in circumstances where the Independent Children’s Lawyer appointed by the Court refused to sign the proposed orders.

The matter involved two children, aged 4 and 2 who lived with their mother and spent … Read more

Parenting by Bird Nesting

by Bree Staines on October 10, 2016

Bree Staines

When parents separate, even on the most amicable terms, it is inevitable that there will be change to the family and the parenting arrangements. No longer is it possible for both parents to be involved in the children’s morning or night time routine, and to hear the stories as the children rush in the door after school or their extracurricular … Read more

Felicity Reeman

As a family law solicitor who is currently studying to become a qualified family dispute resolution practitioner, much of my attentions are presently focused on the role that mediation has to play in family law disputes.

A family dispute resolution practitioner (FDRP) is an independent person who helps people who are affected by separation or divorce to resolve their parenting … Read more

What is Child Focused Mediation?

by Peter Magee on October 9, 2016

Zoe Durand

In general Family Dispute Resolution Practitioners are legislatively mandated to act in children’s best interests. However FDRP’s are also meant to be neutral and in facilitative mediation, non-directive. Child focused mediation means a mediation where the parties are encouraged to consider the needs and interests of their children as paramount. However child focused mediation, as opposed to child inclusive mediation, … Read more

Legal Jargon & Family Law Judgments

by Natasha Heathcote on October 8, 2016

Natasha Heathcote

If only the judgment was written with emojis and in plain language it would all be possible.

A refreshingly new approach has been adopted by the English High Court judge, His Honour Peter Jackson. A recent family dispute involving four children, a British Muslim convert, known only as Mr A in the judgment allegedly attempted to take the four children, … Read more