Welcome to Family Law Australia Support & Training

FLAST is a network and community focused on Family Law in Australia and providing support and training for members with current family law matters.

FLAST helps improve access to justice for it's members with:

  • Free Daily Court Digests of Cases Coming out of the Family Courts.

  • Private Members area where members can communicate with legal professionals, ask questions, engage in discussions all with an anonymous profile.

  • Mentoring Services to help guide you through the quagmire that is Family Law working collaboratively with your lawyers.

  • Document Drafting Services with review by Legal Practitioners.

  • Case Management Services with review by Legal Practitioners.

  • Ad-Hoc legal services for advice when you need it, keeping costs down.

    AN OVERVIEW OF THE FLAST NETWORK



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New Discussions
https://bit.ly/relationshipsurveyuow Hi, My name is Kirsten, I am a part of a research program at…
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  •  · Susan Edwards I can’t, in any way, see how the act of anyone, male or female, fleeing a violent…
Our Final hearing was heard very recently, Financials and Parenting matter, NSW FCCOA. 5 yrs since i…
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  •  · The most obvious question raised is: "What is the incentive for a lawyer or representative to act in…
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Hi, Just joined site. I will get straight to the point if anyone can assist. Please note I will like…
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  •  · Sorry to see what you are going through unfortunately at this time of year in an ordinary year would…
We have been engaged with lawyers for about 6 months - this is after two rounds of mediation. Finall…
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  •  · Its not possible to have a decision without orders UNLESS you consent. 
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Does a judge's order for a Memorandum of Law ( e.g. on jurisdiction say) from counsel later require …
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  •  · This is a highly technical question but basically issues of jurisdiction affect standing for a matte…
Are you allowed to redact information on documents ie financial disclosure - bank statements etc? If…
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  •  · Issues that will hurt your case if your planning on redacting information is is the redacted informa…
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Susan Edwards

I can’t, in any way, see how the act of anyone, male or female, fleeing a violent partner could be perceived as an act of indulgence.

Thank you. I hope, this is taken in an unbias context and broadcast in a public realm without toxic shaming and abusive language. Specifically, its time the male perspective on how distressing and scarring the process has become made public. 

Many married and men who cohabitate with women ARE victims of DV and there is nothing they can do that will offer them relief without putting them in the worst position of hardship their life will ever encounter. Loss of motivation, work ethic, trust, ambition, hope. Some men wake to see the next day, others do not. 

I can understand why the prospect of self deletion comes across as the only viable solution to the pain and anguish men deal with each day - everyday when presented with a woman partner who abuses them knowing that if a man walks he is at a savage loss. The rationale magnified when children involved. 

The impulse of women 'fleeing' a violent partner is not an act of indulgence that any man could ever seriously consider without dire consequences to themselves and their children.

The public should not kid themselves. Women now know their exclusive rights in the world. They have an abundance of resources online which can lead them on a destructive path - all most without due consequence.

Socially, professionally - though not religiously yet - there is no stopping the juggernaut of women who lie to disadvantage. And the repercussions for a women who lies to advantage? None. Women have no incentive to be accountable for their actions, lies or misleading emotional interpretations of events.

Yet, men get abused and suffer every day in silence. Men put on brave face, face the world of work, cannot talk to anyone about their problems. At home (and in public realms) men get stereotyped, ridiculed, avoided, outcast, yelled at, ordered, bullied, entrapped, mislead, deceived, exploited into acting a certain uncomfortable way - why? Because a female knows she cannot be prosecuted for such actions. All behaviors that are forbidden towards the opposite sex without consequence apply to women, but do not apply to men. Yet even with the equality narrative at its highest, the hunger by women for a mans resources is at the highest it has ever been. 

Todays men have to be prepared to lose everything to set themselves free from pain and suffering from the hands of an abusive partner, especially where children witness it.

Importantly, a marriage contract is unconscionable in every sense. From a mans perspective, it is the worst contract to ever sign where a party gets rewarded to break that contract and the other party at a gross disadvantage from day of signature. Amplified with the addition of children, a mans life is forever at ransom - even after divorce.

Not a day goes by where I preach to men to excel themselves for their own greater good to become the best version of themselves and to avoid relationships and cohabitation only exasperated by a grossly bias narrative and family court realm.

Finally, I teach my daughters to respect boys just as they want to be respected as girls, as people for the greater good of society - equally without prejudice. 

Why is the family law realms attitude still lagging so far behind?

Added a Digest 

https://bit.ly/relationshipsurveyuow

Hi,

My name is Kirsten,

I am a part of a research program at the Univeristy of Wollongong, Australia that is looking at the mental health outcomes of divorce within Australia.

Currently, there is limited data and research on the impacts of divorce of mental health outcomes, especially looking at family court experiences. We are particularly interested in the mental health outcomes for women. We are exploring the unique and lived experiences of those who have experienced, or currently experiencing divorce or separation within Australia. as a research team, we are exploring the impacts of child custody, financial strain, history of domestic violence, perceived social support and experiences within the family court system, and how they can impact the mental health outcomes of these individuals. 

To do this we have developed an online survey. We are trying to recruit women who are either in the process of their divorce or the divorce has been finalised within the last decade. However, we are happy to hear about everyone who has been divorced previously.

We really need help with recruitment and to get in contact with separated or divorced women. If you or you know anyone would we be interested to expressed their experience, please feel free to share. 

The survey is anonymous and will take 10-20 minutes to complete. I am happy to discuss this further if anyone has further questions. 

The survey can be found through the link bellow: 

https://bit.ly/relationshipsurveyuow

Thank you. 

Added a Digest 

https://bit.ly/relationshipsurveyuow

Hi,

My name is Kirsten,

I am a part of a research program at the Univeristy of Wollongong, Australia that is looking at the mental health outcomes of divorce within Australia.

Currently, there is limited data and research on the impacts of divorce of mental health outcomes, especially looking at family court experiences. We are particularly interested in the mental health outcomes for women. We are exploring the unique and lived experiences of those who have experienced, or currently experiencing divorce or separation within Australia. as a research team, we are exploring the impacts of child custody, financial strain, history of domestic violence, perceived social support and experiences within the family court system, and how they can impact the mental health outcomes of these individuals. 

To do this we have developed an online survey. We are trying to recruit women who are either in the process of their divorce or the divorce has been finalised within the last decade. However, we are happy to hear about everyone who has been divorced previously.

We really need help with recruitment and to get in contact with separated or divorced women. If you or you know anyone would we be interested to expressed their experience, please feel free to share. 

The survey is anonymous and will take 10-20 minutes to complete. I am happy to discuss this further if anyone has further questions. 

The survey can be found through the link bellow: 

https://bit.ly/relationshipsurveyuow

Thank you. 

Added a Digest 

https://bit.ly/relationshipsurveyuow

Hi,

My name is Kirsten,

I am a part of a research program at the Univeristy of Wollongong, Australia that is looking at the mental health outcomes of divorce within Australia.

Currently, there is limited data and research on the impacts of divorce of mental health outcomes, especially looking at family court experiences. We are particularly interested in the mental health outcomes for women. We are exploring the unique and lived experiences of those who have experienced, or currently experiencing divorce or separation within Australia. as a research team, we are exploring the impacts of child custody, financial strain, history of domestic violence, perceived social support and experiences within the family court system, and how they can impact the mental health outcomes of these individuals. 

To do this we have developed an online survey. We are trying to recruit women who are either in the process of their divorce or the divorce has been finalised within the last decade. However, we are happy to hear about everyone who has been divorced previously.

We really need help with recruitment and to get in contact with separated or divorced women. If you or you know anyone would we be interested to expressed their experience, please feel free to share. 

The survey is anonymous and will take 10-20 minutes to complete. I am happy to discuss this further if anyone has further questions. 

The survey can be found through the link bellow: 

https://bit.ly/relationshipsurveyuow

Thank you. 

Family businesses that are to be handed down to incoming and future generations should consider a Family Constitution, as Phillip Davey explores in this new topic.

A well-composed Family Constitution can be highly beneficial to maintaining harmony and guiding future decision making.

   
 
Added a Digest 

Children before Conflict: Strive to Thrive at Co-Parenting after Separation
A Guide to Co-Parenting after Separation 
By Leah Keegan from Keegan Family Law & Dr Phil Watt from Mindstate Psychology

Where Law & Psychology Interact and sometimes Overlap

Parenting matters that come before the Family Court have created a unique relationship where law and psychology intersect and collaborate as a means of resolving parenting disputes.

Lawyers turn to Psychologists for assessment, observation, report and recommendations for parents and children which are in the best interest of children. No doubt, Psychologists would  appreciate Family Lawyers being aware of the psychological studies and literature and incorporating this into both their practice as a family lawyer but also the advice they give to parents.

It is in this context that Family Lawyer, Leah Keegan and Psychologist, Dr Phil Watts combined law and psychology to create a Guide for Parents, “Children before Conflict: Strive to Thrive at Co-Parenting after Separation”.

www.childrenbeforeconflict.com.au

Added a product 

This service by FLAST will give you a paralegal to work and collaborate with in preparation of a full trial case brief which you can use in preparation for trial.



The paralegal will be allocated to work directly with you and your client collaborating on the content in preparing the brief.  This service is available for Law firms, Lawyers and Self Represented litigants with a goal to produce a well prepared brief for your lawyer or barrister to use to be able to look at your case at a glance and know the Facts of the Case, the Issues involved, the Relevant Rules that apply, the application of the facts, issues and rule to the law and a conclusion of what you are seeking.

Each brief will generally contain a cover page, and index, the digest of the case and copies of all documentation, letters, pleadings, reports, evidence and affidavits along with a list of documents cross-indexed by reference to pages in the brief.

If you need company and business name search results and subpoenaed records, with a summary if they are too voluminous.

The front cover-sheet will contain information such as the identity of the client, the court in which the matter is proceeding, the date the matter is listed, the identity of the instructing solicitor and details of what needs to be done.

The paralegal will work directly with you for 5 days for 4 hours per day, a total of 20 hours.  

7th Year in proceedings at present. Im loving parent. Sacrificed everything to be a mother. Escaped family violence with my child at 1 yr of age.

Other parent got sole parental after 6 years of length proceedings.

I breached final orders as my child was too scared to return to the other parent as per the orders, the other parent pursued arrest warrant. I was sent to jail for 1 year for kidnapping. Haven't seen my daughter for 1.5 years or had any contact.

Attempting to start proceedings so that I can at least have a phone call to my precious beautiful child. I have a directions hearing at Federal Circuitry Court. 

I want to draft consent orders but trying to find any similar cases and what the family court decided as punishment....good behaviour bond, suypervised visits for a time etc. Can anyone comment that has experience? 

I wonder, if in the event that there are long term health consequences to having the Pfizer vaccination, if the Father (who currently shares child expenses with the mother) is indemnified against such extra costs? Separately, what would likely be the fathers legal standing if the mother just got the child vaccinated without a court order and without the father's consent? Asking for a friend...  Am I alone in thinking it odd that judges still believe, or ever believed, that the vaccination stops the spread of COVID-19?

The most obvious question raised is: "What is the incentive for a lawyer or representative to act in their clients best interest (outside of obvious worthless lip service) and not their own financial interests?"

Initially I would extend the three hour mid week period to overnight. 

VIA L.B.

In SA it is the legal services commission you can make a complaint to regarding this. They have disciplinary register too you can see what they deal with first. Costs is one factor. If you 100% believe that this could have been the case, yes definitely ask, otherwise you could try ACCC, they be able to guide you, including the letter template to use to write to your solicitor.

Complaints and Discipline

Concept of ‘professional misconduct’

  • Professional misconduct’ is a common law concept – that something is done by a lawyer ‘which would be reasonably regarded as disgraceful or dishonourable by his professional brethren of good repute and competency’ (Allison v General Council of Medical Education and Registration [1894] 1 QB 750, 763).
  • Legislation in all jurisdictions provides a non-exhaustive list of conduct that may constitute unsatisfactory professional conduct or professional misconduct.

Section 296 Uniform Law

  •  Unsatisfactory professional conduct

For the purposes of this Law, unsatisfactory professional conduct includes conduct of a lawyer occurring in connection with the practice of law that falls short of the standard of competence and diligence that a member of the public is entitled to expect of a reasonably competent lawyer.

Examples of unsatisfactory professional conduct

Examples of behaviour amounting to ‘unsatisfactory professional conduct’ include:

  • Appearing late for a court hearing, or not appearing at all, when the name of the law practice appears on the court file;
  • Sending documents to the wrong address;
  • Being rude or aggressive;
  • Failing to do work that is expected and/or within a reasonable time;
  • Not informing clients in writing of the potential disadvantages of acting for both the vendor and purchaser to a proposed conveyancing transaction, or both the seller and purchaser in a sale or business transaction;
  • Not withdrawing from a matter, when acting for both parties in a conveyance or business purchase, or other type of transaction where the lawyer acts for both parties, when a conflict of interest arises;
  • Failing to communicate effectively and promptly to clients; and
  • substantial or consistent failure to reach or maintain a reasonable standard of competence and diligence.

(Source: Marlene Ebejer, Legal Practice and Ethics Q & A, (LexisNexis, 3nd edn, 2019)

Section 297 Uniform Law

  • Professional misconduct
  1. For the purposes of this Law, professional misconduct includes—
  2. Unsatisfactory professional conduct of a lawyer, where the conduct involves a substantial or consistent failure to reach or maintain a reasonable standard of competence and diligence; and
  3. Conduct of a lawyer whether occurring in connection with the practice of law or occurring otherwise than in connection with the practice of law that would, if established, justify a finding that the lawyer is not a fit and proper person to engage in legal practice.
  4. For the purpose of deciding whether a lawyer is or is not a fit and proper person to engage in legal practice as referred to in subsection (1)(b), regard may be had to the matters that would be considered if the lawyer were an applicant for admission to the Australian legal profession or for the grant or renewal of an Australian practising certificate and any other relevant matters.

Examples of professional misconduct

Examples of conduct held to constitute ‘professional misconduct’ include:

  • Lying to or otherwise misleading the court (e.g. Law Society of New South Wales v Foreman (1994) 34 NSWLR 408);
  • Improperly influencing a witness (e.g. Kennedy v Law Society of New South Wales (1939) 13 ALJ 563;
  • Gross negligence (e.g. Re Mayes and Legal Practitioners Act [1974] 1 NSWLR 19);
  • Conviction for a serious offence, particularly if that offence involved dishonesty, whether as part of legal practice or otherwise (though circumstances may be taken into account) (e.g. Ziems v Prothonotary of the Supreme Court of New South Wales (1957) 97 CLR 279);
  • Failure to lodge income tax returns over a lengthy period of time (e.g. New South Wales Bar Association v Cummins [2001] NSWCA 284;
  • Overcharging (e.g. Legal Services Commissioner v Bechara [2008] NSWADT 215);
  • Conduct occurring outside of legal practice, which might bring the profession into disrepute (e.g. Coe v New South Wales Bar Association [2000] NSWCAS 13).

Section 298 Uniform Law

  • Conduct capable of constituting unsatisfactory professional conduct or professional misconduct

Without limitation, the following conduct is capable of constituting unsatisfactory professional conduct or professional misconduct—

(a) to (j) - see Uniform Law

Disciplinary orders

  • Depends on the seriousness and gravity of the misconduct. Orders extensive, including:
    • Striking off: lawyer found not to be fit and proper person to remain in practice (e.g. Ziems v Prothonotary of the Supreme Court of New South Wales (1957) 97 CLR 279);
    • Suspension: absence of dishonesty (Law Society of the Australian Capital Territory v Gates [2006] ACTSC 126); serves to warn others (Re Drew (1920) 20 SR (NSW) 463); reform the lawyer (Re Evatt (1967) 67 SR (NSW) 236);
    • Reprimand: not so substantial as to merit suspension or striking off but nevertheless a serious matter (Legal Profession Complaints Committee v Detata [2012] WASCA 214);
    • Fines (Legal Services Commissioner v Mullins [2006] LPT 12);
    • Orders to undertake further profession education;
    • Imposing conditions on the lawyer’s practising certificate.

Duties Owed to Clients

Competence

  • Tort law (negligence - standard of care)
  • Contract (implied term of skill and care)
  • Statute (s 18 Australian Consumer Law)
  • Fiduciary law (duties mandated by equity)

Duties owed to clients: Duty of competence

  • Under:
    • contract law – implied term of skill and care; and
    • tort law – duty to take reasonable care (negligence).
  • Rule 4.1.3 SCR: a solicitor must deliver legal services competently, diligently and as promptly as reasonably possible.
  • ‘Competence’ has no legal definition.
    • Examples of conduct potentially falling short of expected level of competency:
      • not advising client about limitation period
      • missing deadline
      • making representations about things that the lawyer cannot control

Duty of care under tort law

  • Lawyers can be held to be negligent if fall below requisite standard of care.
    • May also amount to misconduct or unsatisfactory professional conduct.
  • Duty to:
    • act in best interests of client
    • disclose all material information
    • Where is a real and foreseeable risk of economic loss to a client (Hawkins v Clayton).

Standard of care

  • That of a qualified, reasonably competent and careful lawyer in the practice of their profession (Hawkins v Clayton (1988)).
    • ordinary, skilled person exercising and professing to have that special skill: Rogers v Whitaker (1992) 175 CLR 479.

Breach of duty of competence

  • Damages award:
    • contract – difference in position from if retainer had been performed.
    • tort – putting client in position would have been in had tort not been committed.
      • Causation: would client have behaved the same way even if there was no breach? (Berry v Kanakis (2002) NSW ConvR 56-022).
  • Disciplinary action – misconduct or unsatisfactory professional conduct
Added a comment to Co Pilot 

Hi Danny.  Is this how to contact you?

What is considered “proper opportunity”

Yes, his Honour responded by saying, in effect, that orders from above meant he should only lock up the mother as a last resort. Since his Honour had tried everything else, this was a clearly the last resort (par 15). 

I guess the practical take-away from this is that parents can expect the Court to do nothing about breaches for a long time before it does something. Even then, I wonder what would have happened if the mother had have been represented in previous contraventions - could she have more effectively presented herself as a victim and the father as a bully?

Bahan vs Pinder 2021 demonstrates yet another instance, where when no are children involved, a female judicial officer puts the 'sexual expenditure and consumption worth' of a female at the expense of the males estate.

Is it even possible to trump a females ignorance, speculation, allegation and innuendo, when it comes to a cash grab from the male by the part of the female party?

Clearly a lazy and bias verdict based solemnly on social expectations from a bygone time.

To start the crawl moving forward as a society, the court must across the board, clearly demonstrate the demand for female accountability.

This must be highly relevant where there is substantial assets brought into the relationship by the male (and children) and none by the female. Defaulting on the reliance of a females entitlement and privilege over a male (ad hoc father), as in the past, is simply not enough any longer.

It must be seriously considered time to bring back fault cause and effect.

Sorry to see what you are going through unfortunately at this time of year in an ordinary year would be very hard to get an urgent hearing and this is no ordinary year between the merger of the Family Court into the Federal Court and COVID the Court was already stretched to the limit. 

Without seeing what you submitted (which you should not post here in any case) its impossible to say what was not compliant).

Please click on this link and book a time for a call to discuss your matter over the phone so we can go over your options.

https://calendly.com/select_a_day_and_time/15min 

Elisabeth HA ( DerHou on FLAST) 

You need to get proper legal advice. To have the documents checked for the non-compliance issues and to fix will not cost $100,000. The sooner you get the initiating documents correct the better you will be because if you wait you will be giving the other party reasons to have the proceedings dismissed and then you will need to start again.


The full paragraph, as I understand it, says two things:

  1. Judges are entitled to decide what's good for the child based on the judge's own values (which may be very different from other judges' values).
  2. There's no perfect answer, a judge need only get it roughly right.

Interesting to think that if this the prevailing law with regard to residency decisions, why it should not be broadly understood by everyone as such.

The text of the paragraph is here...

151. The evidence in residency cases is often such that the same body of evidence may produce opposite but nevertheless reasonable conclusions from different judges. It is a mistake to think that there is always only one right answer to the question of what the best interests of a child require. Each judge is duty bound to make the order which he or she thinks is in the best interests of the child. But the fact that other judges think that the best interests of that child require a different order does not necessarily prove that the first order was not in the best interests of the child. Best interests are values, not facts. They involve a discretionary judgment in respect of which judges can come to opposite but reasonable conclusions. In G v G[89], Lord Fraser of Tullybelton pointed out:

"The jurisdiction in such cases is one of great difficulty, as every judge who has had to exercise it must be aware. The main reason is that in most of these cases there is no right answer. All practicable answers are to some extent unsatisfactory and therefore to some extent wrong, and the best that can be done is to find an answer that is reasonably satisfactory."
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