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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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Respect for Diversity and LGBTQI+

As a professional working with family disputes we aim to be inclusive and cater to the diversity of people and issues that we are confronted with. But it is very hard to avoid making assumptions about those we deal with based on their first impression, their presentation, and what they tell us or omit to…

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How to tell the children about your separation

Telling your children that their parents intend to separate will be one of the hardest and most difficult conversations you may ever have!   Your children love you both and wish to be able to share this love and your support in everything that they do. Their strongest held wish will be that the two…

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What is Family Dispute Resolution (FDR)?

Process   FDR is a process that involves a facilitator or registered Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner (FDRP) who assists separated parties to sort out the issues that arise from their separation. These may include parenting arrangements, property settlement, financial issues, interim or short term arrangements, trial arrangements, or long term plans.   The FDRP provides…

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“The Eye of the Sheep” by Sofie Laguna

As professionals working with family disputes, family violence is a topic that we must all confront. We attend training, cover this topic in conferences and seminars, and discuss it on a regular basis. In our work we must assess for this, acknowledge where it occurs, and assist those affected to deal with the consequences. But…

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Hazards and Outrage in Conflict Management

Conflict can bring with it a time of crisis and trauma, as well as an opportunity for growth and development. Many professionals dealing in the vast area of communication and conflict management, have developed ways of looking at conflict to assist in this task. Peter Sandman is one such expert who has an interesting way…

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What you can expect of your lawyer in Family Dispute Resolution

Lawyers perform an important role in Family Dispute Resolution (FDR) yet many participants are unsure as to what to expect from their lawyer in this process. Good team work between you and your lawyer in FDR can make a crucial difference in ensuring that this is a constructive, empowering and respectful process, that achieves the…

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Insights from the High Court for Assessment and Intake.

I recently revisited the recent High Court decision of Thorne v Kennedy[i]. Although this case is in the context of Binding Financial Agreements (BFAs) I was struck by the importance of many of the comments made by the High Court for professionals assisting in the resolution of family disputes.   There is no doubt in…

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