Legally Yours recently partnered with Karen Hodgkins Filmmaker for an open forum about family law.
Moderated by Judi Rotstein, renowned Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner and Mediator, our panellist of family law experts and professionals discussed the current state of the family law system and how the professions can work together in the future to achieve better outcomes.
Our Panellists were:
- The Honourable Joseph Kay AM
- Judi Rotstein – Founder and Principal, Mediation Victoria
- Monica Blizzard – Director at KHQ Lawyers
- Annette Lakey, Principal at Lakey Family Law and Mediation
- Anne Marie Cade, The Peaceful Divorce Lawyer
- Tanya Somerton, Founder and Divorce Specialist
- Melinda Nutting, Specialised Separation Consultant and Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner from Step by Step Support for Separated Families
- Leorah Kagan, Director & Clinical Paediatric Psychologist
Of the many topics discussed, Monica Blizzard talked about the issue of non-family trained lawyers dealing with family law matters. We are seeing the removal of specialisation which is making it more and more difficult to predict the outcome of cases. In addition, the cases being litigated in court are often the worst of the worst with only 2-3% of cases ending up in trial, calling for an even greater need for specialisation for these matters.
Another topic that was addressed was the notion of legal aid and the robot lawyer. Whilst technology has brought the legal industry many benefits, such as minimising costs for clients, it has also created many challenges. Millennials want technology and although technology will not completely replace the role of the lawyer, it is up to lawyers to act as the conduit between clients and the technology.
There were also discussions about the principles that should underpin child mediation. Child mediation should be child inclusive and follow a collaborative approach. This means that finances should not be settled until responsibilities to children are. Shared responsibility does not solely involve the division of time. In addition, Melinda Nutting recommended an approach that combines mediation and therapy that involves communication, addressing emotional triggers and considering the needs of the children.
Finally, Hunter, a young victim of family violence shared his negative experiences with the family court system. The one bit of advice that he gave to anyone in a similar position to himself was to not believe everything that you hear, and to always assess the situation from both sides. Problems with the DHS such as under resourcing, everyone having different views, and the DHS being a State system were also addressed.
I was so happy that I had the pleasure of witnessing such a collaborative environment, filled with like-minded professionals, who care about families.
This article was written by Edmund Yuan, recent Law Graduate from Monash University.
View some photos from the event here:
Need quick legal advice on any Family Law issues from one of our fantastic legal panellists?
Head to our website at www.legallyyours.com.au and you can select a Quick Match call with either Monica Blizzard or Annette Lakey for a transparent and flat fee of $49. If, however, you are ready to engage our panellists for a specific legal service, then you can Request a Quote from them by clicking here.
This article does not constitute legal advice or a legal opinion on any matter discussed and, accordingly, it should not be relied upon. It should not be regarded as a comprehensive statement of the law and practice in this area. If you require any advice or information, please speak to practicing lawyer in your jurisdiction. No individual who is a member, partner, shareholder or consultant of, in or to any constituent part of Legally Yours Pty Ltd accepts or assumes responsibility, or has any liability, to any person in respect of this article.