Inside Family Law with Zoë Durand
“In control to steer outcomes”, An interview with Elise McSweeny from SplitWorld

“In control to steer outcomes”, An interview with Elise McSweeny from SplitWorld

June 1, 2020

“in control to steer outcomes”, An interview with Elise McSweeny from SplitWorld

  • What is SplitWorld?
  • What is the purpose of SplitWorld?
  • Discussion of modules. Property and assets module, parenting module, and documenting agreement.
  • How the algorithm for the financial calculator (property) was developed.
  • Idea that “The process depletes the resources” of the family and SplitWorld’s intention to be a self empowered process.
  • Intention to assist parties to collaborate.
  • DIY Divorce tool kit to save time, emotion and money.
  • Not all matters are appropriate for this process.
  • Different ways to use SplitWorld.
  • Parenting plan module and education resources about how to best support children through separation via blog and direct mail.
  • Future trends for SplitWorld ”there is a drive to disrupt the system”.
  • Human element in determining justice and equity and how this works with an algorithm (financial calculator).
  • “At a higher level, where does justice and equity exist? In this process the justice and equity exists inside the perspective of the two people navigating the divorce… The sense and the feeling of justice and equity comes from me if I am going through the process and I arrive at the end of it and I feel justice has been met."
  • “The justice and equity exists within them.”
  • “We want to stand in the possibility that separation can be amicable and that each partner can choose this and that if people choose this…then they are immediately in control to steer outcomes in alignment with this choice.”
  • The parties can collaborate together. They can modify what the financial calculator says, i.e do not have to agree with the financial calculator outcome, but use it as a guide only.
  • In collating the information for the financial calculator parties think in a practical way about how their future lives will work. The process of collating the data for the financial calculator can in and of itself be useful.
  • Retaining resources – time, energy, money inside the family unit as “invaluable.”
  • Future of SplitWorld.

www.split.world

“The real world is not the real world” - family law and separation during Coronavirus with Hayder Shkara, principal at Justice Family Lawyers

“The real world is not the real world” - family law and separation during Coronavirus with Hayder Shkara, principal at Justice Family Lawyers

April 5, 2020

Hayder Shkara (principal at Justice Family Lawyers) and Zoë Durand discuss:

  • Lockdown – parenting during a lockdown
  • School holidays have moved forward in Victoria – school holiday time changes to family law.
  • Follow the orders to the best of your ability. Try to communicate if possible (via lawyer or directly).
  • Changeover and also other safety issues. I.e one parents' residence vs the other parents' residence. Safety issues during Coronavirus. “Reasonable excuse” to contravene orders and what constitutes this.
  • Panic affecting decision making.
  • Family violence. Court continuing, however processes are modified i.e. use of telephone and other electronic communication.
  • Family law firms and mediation continuing via technology. 
  • Changes to the types of matters during Coronavirus.
  • Difficulty separating during Coronavirus.
  • Tensions as families live and work together in constant close contact.
  • Property matters and Coronavirus i.e. reduced value of shares and superannuation and how this is affecting family law matters.
  • Court – doing the best job they can during this time.
  • The online world is now the “real” world. Changes in work practices.
  • "The real world is not the real world."
  • Court now allowing subpoenas to be filed online.
  • Some practices may remain after Coronavirus – new work climate coming out of this.
  • WFHLife i.e Working from home life and how to stay active at home (from a former Olympic athlete). Mental and physical health.  
  • “Use it as an opportunity to try something different.”
  • Reaching Hayder at Justice Family Lawyers on google.

 

New ways of doing old problems: family law in the time of Coronavirus

New ways of doing old problems: family law in the time of Coronavirus

March 30, 2020

New ways of doing old problems: family law in the time of Coronavirus

Paul Doolan (Partner at Barkus Doolan)  and Zoe Durand discuss:

  • Parenting - compliance with orders due to coronavirus and health conditions. 
  • Commonsense and making decisions in best interests of children.
  • Property issues, loss of value of assets and loss of income.
  • Impaired ability to pay child support, spouse maintenance. 
  • How s75(2) factors may be affected. 
  • Unique circumstance of loss on value of assets and earning capacity (unlike past economic recessions).
  • Difficulty for people resolving disputes at the moment. 
  • Sense of community in family law during Coronavirus.
  • Changes in the Court and increased use of technology during Coronavirus.
  • Practical issues for lawyers i.e. signing up affidavits etc, deposing of documents, getting both parties to sign the same document, changes re tendering documents.
  • Lack of supervisors to supervise time. 
  • Long term changes that may persist after Coronavirus.
  • Family Violence - UK  example.
  • Potential family law reform.
  • Merger of Courts.
  • Paul's comments on Senator Pauline Hanson and her views.
  • Paul Doolan's own personal views about family law reform. 
  • Legal Aid and false economy of cutting funding to Legal Aid.
  • Wider question of "Who are we these reforms for? Where should the law reform be targeted?"
“A measure of pushback” with Jacqui Dawson (Sexton Family Law)

“A measure of pushback” with Jacqui Dawson (Sexton Family Law)

February 23, 2020

“A measure of pushback” with Jacqui Dawson (Sexton Family Law)

  • How to empower people going through the process.
  • What information to prepare for your lawyer: in parenting and property matters. Checking facts and details in a one page summary.
  • Be completely frank with your lawyer. 
  • Pre-sorting financial disclosure for your lawyer to save legal fees.
  • Being clear about objectives and seeking assistance from other professionals.
  • Cues that you have the right/ wrong lawyer for you. Trusting your lawyer.  Is your lawyer over promising?
  • Time frames and communication.
  • Expertise of lawyers, accreditation.
  • Is your lawyer objective and calm.
  • “One of the worst things we can do as a lawyer is get on board with our clients’ emotional distress.” Be wary of correspondence that is unnecessarily emotive and lengthy.
  • Lawyers that are too aligned with client are doing the client a disservice.
  • A good lawyer will offer a measure of pushback. “Toxic can come in all different ways.”
  • Every case is different. Beware of the advice from friends, neighbours and google. Your fact situation is different to others.
  • Adapt as you go along.
  • Listen to your lawyer – delays are difficult and lawyers understand this is a problem.

Find Jacqui Dawson at Sexton Family Law.

https://sextonfamilylaw.com.au/index.php/portfolio/about-us-2/

Hiatus

Hiatus

February 23, 2020

Sorry to have been away from the podcast for so long. Life got in the way! I hope it was worth the wait. 

Come along to the UNSW family law intensive https://www.edge.unsw.edu.au/sites/default/files/2019-11/Family%20Law%20Intensive%20Program.pdf  where I will be chairing the day. 

Anne-Marie Cade: ‘Between then and now’ - the divorce coach walking with clients through the process

Anne-Marie Cade: ‘Between then and now’ - the divorce coach walking with clients through the process

January 10, 2020

Anne-Marie Cade (Divorce coach) - Between then and now: moving clients from the story of divorce to the business of divorce.

  • What is peaceful divorce?
  • What is the coaching process in practicality.  In terms of timing, people can be helped at any stage of the process.
  • Lawyer as entry point into seeking out other services.
  • Retelling of negative narratives via divorce process.
  • Emotional blind spots and fear. 
  • "As a coach I am trained to walk the path with the client."
  • How coaching can help clients become more self aware. Dialing down emotions.
  • Difference between therapy and divorce coaching.
  • Helping clients with the divorce process. “Being an objective thinking partner”.
  • History of the role of divorce coaching.  In the USA and UK and now Australia.
  • Parenting coordination.
  • Difference between support from friends and support from coach. Coach as an “accountability buddy.” Helpful objective thinking partner to assist them. Friends who mean well but can be destructive to the process.  "Each person’s experience is unique.  When it comes to your divorce you need to put certain people on a shelf."
  • How divorce coaching can help the lawyer-client relationship. Coaching helping clients better understand their lawyer.

Find Anne-Marie Cade at https://www.divorceright.com.au/author/admin/

A discussion with Rachel Brace from Relationspace about Max’s Divorce Earthquake

A discussion with Rachel Brace from Relationspace about Max’s Divorce Earthquake

November 8, 2019
  • History of Rachel Brace’s career
  • Reason for creating Max’s Divorce Earthquake
  • How this book helps normalise the separation and helps children verbalise their feelings about their parents’ separation and encourage conversation between children and parents about the separation.
  • How Max’s  Divorce Earthquake can also help parents – helping parents to support their children.
  • There is no right or wrong way to feel. There are no “bad” or shameful feelings. Feelings will pass. Feelings and emotions are temporary states, not permanent traits.
  • Having mixed feelings about divorce.
  • Tips for parents who are separating.
  • Really listen to children – even if it is difficult to hear what they are saying.
  • Try not to project your own feelings onto children.
  • Children have their own unique self and personhood. Zoe refers to “your children come through you, but are not of you” from Kahil Gibran
  • Upcoming project: a book on blended families and having step parents and steps siblings.

See www.kinshipbooks.com

Or reach Rachel through the Relationspace

Max's Divorce Earthquake Illustrated by Angela Perrini and written by Rachel Brace.

Inside Family Law Podcast launch: 5.30pm, Wed 25 Sept - meet the interviewees behind the podcast, sponsored by Clarence Workspaces for Professionals & Legal Home Loans

Inside Family Law Podcast launch: 5.30pm, Wed 25 Sept - meet the interviewees behind the podcast, sponsored by Clarence Workspaces for Professionals & Legal Home Loans

September 15, 2019

Inside Family Law Podcast launch

You are warmly invited to the launch of the Inside Family Law Podcast:

At Mediation Answers, Level 21, 133 Castlereagh Street, Sydney

From 5.30pm, Wednesday 25 September 2019.

Around 6pm: Short speeches by Zoë Durand and The Hon. Peter Rose AM QCfacilitated by ABC journalist Katherine Gregory

Enjoy an evening of champagne, drinks, nibbles and networking with interviewees from the podcast and book and your colleagues. 

If you would like to be on the Inside Family Law podcast, be there or be square, as we will be bringing our booking schedule and filling spaces for the next 6 months on the evening.  Also any sequel to the book will be taken from these podcasts, so now is your chance!

Copies of the Inside Family Law book will be available for purchase, so you can grab an autograph from your favourite Inside Family Law podcast or book interviewees on the evening.

About the Inside Family Law Podcast

The Inside Family Law podcast continues the interdisciplinary conversations from the Inside Family Law book, which was seen on the ABC, The Australian, Sydney Morning Herald, A Current Affair, 9News, 10Daily and 9Honey and awarded the APAC Award for Family Law Publication of the Year 2019. Zoë was recently the official AFCC correspondent reporting on the ground at the Sydney AFCC conference via her podcast. Watch for future reporting via the podcast at other family law conferences around the world.

Interviewees from the podcast and book include: The Honourable Diana Bryant AO QC, The Honourable Stephen Thackray, Judge Tom Altobelli, Judge Alexandra Harland, Judge Joe Harman, Registrar Brett McGrath, The Honourable Mark La Poer Trench, The Honourable Peter Rose AM QC, Robyn Sexton, Stephen Scarlett, Trevor Tockar, Darren Mort, Tom Hutchings, Dr Jenni Neoh, Vincent Papaleo, Dr Antony Milch, Alison O'Neill, Linda Campbell, Rachel Brace, Brian Pickup, David Bird and Mark Lipson. 

Beyond those who work directly in family law, this event may be of interest to those who work in other adjacent areas, but wish to meet and network with family lawyers.

Listen in to the podcast at https://zoedurand.podbean.com/ or on Spotify https://open.spotify.com/show/13tbYOANgI7w9R6svg9tH2?si=36Oku1yiRgiJNyHoSZUNGw

To get in touch with  Zoë see www.mediationanswers.com.au or email zoe@mediationanswers.com.au.

The evening is being kindly sponsored by Clarence Workplaces for Professionals and Legal Home Loans.

 “The lens that you have” -  Dr Robert Simon (United States Forensic Psychologist) on understanding families around the world and  children’s views. AFCC series.

 “The lens that you have” -  Dr Robert Simon (United States Forensic Psychologist) on understanding families around the world and  children’s views. AFCC series.

August 25, 2019

 “The lens that you have” -  Dr Robert Simon (United States Forensic Psychologist) on understanding families around the world and  children’s views. AFCC series.

  • Why Dr Simon supports the AFCC, interdisciplinary nature of AFCC: Talks that leave you “Wondering and imagining.”
  • International perspectives on family law, example regarding Hawaii and the role of the grandmother in that family, without understanding Culture you may see things through a “lens that did not see it properly”.
  • Experiences in San Diego; military families.
  • Allowing the family to educate you about their family: honouring the family when you work with them.
  • Children’s views and perspectives.
  • Allowing children to have their views matter, but not over exposing them to adult issues: a complicated dance. It is about intention.
  • All parents make mistakes: a learning opportunity to show children how it is okay to make mistakes and own them.
  • Children’s voices in the Court process: “The prime stakeholder.” The child’s voice needs to be heard, as it is a matter of respect. Children have their own rights and personhood.
 “The answers for themselves” The Honourable Stephen Thackray on working with Aboriginal Australians to make family law more accessible. AFCC series.

 “The answers for themselves” The Honourable Stephen Thackray on working with Aboriginal Australians to make family law more accessible. AFCC series.

August 25, 2019

 “The answers for themselves” The Honourable Stephen Thackray on working with Aboriginal Australians to make family law more accessible. AFCC series.

  • The Honourable Stephen Thakray’s career path through the family law process including having been a Chief Justice of the Family Court of Western Australia, and Senior Judge of the Appeal division of Family Court of Australia and Acting Chief Justice of the Family Court of Australia, his current work as a mediator and prior to all that, in his words, “a boy from country WA.”
  • Work in Newman in the Pilbara region of Western Australia and new processes for Aboriginal Australians in county WA created in consultation with Aboriginal people in that region. Including the removal of forms and more flexibility around Court attendance times.
  • Parties having a lawyer and interpreter.
  • Feedback from clients who have used the service: “The only thing that matters is what the clients think.”
  • The Hon Thackray’s school years side by side with Aboriginal Australian students (the majority of students in his school).
  • “What I didn’t know at the time Zoe, was that the children I was going to school with were part of the Stolen Generation. They all lived on a mission and we were told that they were all orphans and that they were being looked after by white people. And it was only later that I learned that they were not orphans. I have thought very deeply about the dispossession of our Aboriginal people in Australia and that we have an obligation to do a lot more than what we have done in the past.”
  • “To ask Aboriginal people what will work for them.”
  • “We don’t have the answers for other people, they are much more likely to come up with the answers for themselves”.
  • Discussion of the Indigenous list in Sydney and work of Robyn Sexton (former Federal Circuit Court Judge).
  • To try to do things differently because people are different: “We don’t need to proceed on the basis that everyone is white, everyone is rich or everyone is educated or everyone speaks English. We need to accept the differences in our community and then look to how to work with them.”
  • “Everyone has something to contribute”.
  • New Zealand family law experience and Maori people.
  • The importance of having enthusiasm for making family law better for our clients.
  • Judges who are being appointed need to have an understanding of family law, but also some “sympathy for it and a feel for the area”. Judges need to understand family violence and also child development.
  • There need to be enough Judges so they can have the time to make decisions and Judges need to be well supported.
  • Court should be a place of last resort, but some cases do need an agreement to be reached in court.
  • Cross referrals to other supports; drugs, alcohol, violence. People need support for the real issue.

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