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Byron Leong

The Victorian Law Reform Commission is currently reviewing the laws in relation to adoption to provide recommendations on the “modernisation” of such laws. The Adoption Act 1984 (“Adoption Laws”) govern the law in Victoria in relation to adoption.

Adoption of children in Australia has declined since the mid 1970’s due to a number of factors such as the social acceptance … Read more

Peter Magee

It is understandably very common for parents to want their children’s voice to be heard in the family law process. Thankfully, unlike in US television programs where we see children sitting in the middle of a Courtroom, telling a Judge if they would prefer to live with mummy or daddy, the Australian Family Law system recognises that children deserve to … Read more

If I smack my child am I a bad parent or a criminal?

by Amelia Trotman on June 26, 2016

Amelia Trotman

If I smack my child am I a bad parent or a criminal?

In recent years the debate over whether ‘smacking’ is an acceptable or reasonable form of punishment has become a controversial topic.

In New Zealand, laws were amended in 2007 which make it illegal for parents to use force against a child for the purpose of correction, even … Read more

Drug Testing in Family Law

by Peter Magee on June 24, 2016

Peter Magee

Allegations of illicit substance use or prescription medication abuse are common in family law disputes with respect to children. Clients will often seek advice from their lawyer with respect to concerns that they have about another party’s drug use, or alternatively, when they are the target of allegations about drug use.

In any event, it is often the case that … Read more

Co parenting under the one roof

by Kate Marr on May 15, 2016

Kate Marr

Living separately under the one roof

On 9 September 2015, KIIS 106.5 FM published on their website an article headlined “Affleck and Garner Stay Separated, Living In Same Compound”. The article queried if Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner’s decision to remain living in the same property compound is ambitious or admirable.

From reading the article, it seems at this stage; … Read more


by Peter Magee on May 12, 2016

Peter Magee

As I was watching a scene of the movie, ‘Rebound’ (don't judge me, there was nothig else on tv at the time), a scene of an otherwise un-eventful Catherine Zeta-Jones movie actually struck my attention…. allow me to set the scene. Husband and wife, who are now separated, are arguing in the living room while their children are in their … Read more

Won’t somebody PLEASE think of the children??

by Peter Magee on May 5, 2016

Peter Magee

While my dramatic heading may have been a ploy to grab your attention (thank YOU Helen Lovejoy of ‘The Simpsons’ fame), now that I have it, I want to draw it to an area that I believe to be of high importance. I’d like to discuss a little about the effect of Family Law proceedings on children, and how parents … Read more

Involvement of children in court proceedings

by Kate Marr on April 7, 2016

Kate Marr

Should children be involved in court proceedings about them?


When the court is asked to make orders in respect of the ongoing parenting arrangements, the court can take into account the child’s wishes and feelings from the evidence lead by their parents, any significant person who also files an Affidavit, an Independent Children’s Lawyer (if one is appointed), an … Read more

Michelle McDermott

Over the years I have noticed an increasing prevalence of children meeting with mental health professionals following their parents’ separation. Sometimes it is because the children ask for help and sometimes it is as a result of one or both parents deciding the children would benefit from such a therapeutic relationship.

What happens, however, if the child’s parents end up … Read more

Is your child safe on an overseas holiday?

by Bree Staines on March 29, 2016

Bree Staines

As a parent, one of the worst feelings possible would be to not know where your children are, who they are with and when you will see them again.

This is the circumstance an Australian mother found herself:

The father of her children took the children to his home country of Lebanon for a holiday but did not return … Read more