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Creating Space for Consensus

At a time of crisis, parties can feel stunned and flooded with feelings of shock, disbelief and powerlessness. This can give way to a strong sense of fear, loss and hurt, and then to overwhelming emotions such as sadness, rejection, depression, betrayal and perhaps anger. In this state it is very hard to make sense…

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Autumn Reading – “The Fragments” by Toni Jordan

I have followed the work of Melbourne based author, Toni Jordan over several years, and can recommend her most recent novel. This is a murder mystery set in Brisbane, with many familiar features about this city and the lifestyle of those who live there, that are like hooks to grab hold of and keep the…

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What you can expect from the court system

Litigation   The inevitable consequence of separation is that decisions will need to be made. In many cases these are easily identified and parties can work together to manage their conflict, and move forward with dignity and minimal cost to themselves, their extended family, friends, and society.   In some cases this is not possible…

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Summer Reading- The Lost Man by Jane Harper

Jane’s story revolves around several generations of a farming family. The main characters are the three adult sons, but their parents and children are also an important part of the novel. It is concerned with the death of one of the sons, and the attempt to understand what was happening for each of the characters,…

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What to expect from an ICL in Family Dispute Resolution

Operating as both a Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner (FDRP) and Independent Children’s Lawyer (ICL) has given me a unique insight into the role of the ICL in Family Dispute Resolution (FDR). My experience is that every ICL has a different approach to FDR and works towards very different outcomes. This leads me to ask the…

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The life long impact of Trauma on Children

A recent study has made a strong correlation between childhood trauma and life long social, emotional and health outcomes. Exposure to early adversity affects brain development, and leads to a greater likelihood of engaging in high risk behaviours and developing serious health conditions such as heart disease and cancer. This type of childhood trauma is…

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10 Tips for Parenting with Someone you Hate!

  1. Minimise direct contact in the presence of the children- limit to common courtesies. 2. Do not say or imply anything negative about the other parent or their family in the hearing of the children. 3. Use a communication platform for the exchange of important information such as the App MyMob or www.ourchildren.com.au. 4.…

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Alienation in Parenting Disputes

 Recently experts and professionals from around Australia and overseas gathered in Adelaide to explore issues relevant to the “alienation” of children [1]. There was general agreement that this involves a very small subsection of separated families. From a child’s perspective, alienation can be seen as the result of parents pulling them into their conflict to…

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The importance of symbolism and the Magna Carta

On my recent overseas trip, we travelled  to Salisbury and the magnificent cathedral there. Of particular interest is the Chapter House, and the Magna Carter residing there. The cathedral had a wonderful display of white paper origami swans soaring the entire length of the building like a huge wave of joy. The impact as you…

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Sir Laurence Street 1927-21 June 2018

This is a very sad week in the Dispute Resolution world, as we note the passing of Sir Laurence Street. There are many acknowledgements in the media of his incredible contribution to many aspects of public life in Australia, most notably the legal arena, but I cannot miss this opportunity to note the impact of…

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