August 25, 2019
“You know, but you don’t know” – Albert Frantz (concert pianist, entrepreneur, social justice advocate, Vienna) on being a donor conceived child and identity as a human right. AFCC series.
- Albert’s personal history as a donor conceived child.
- Sperm donation in the 1970’s.
- Identity as a human right – the rights of a child and open sourcing of identity.
- Psychological impact of growing up not knowing one’s biological family: “I fell from the sky”.
- Existential debt – expectation that donor conceived people and also adopted people should be perpetually “grateful”.
- “Here’s a common theme amongst donor conceived people; you know even when you don’t know.”
- “Nobody is actually keeping track, nobody even knows exactly how many donor conceived people are out there and whether they know that they are donor conceived and for that reason it is impossible to conduct proper studies on this.”
- “But there is a lot of anecdotal evidence from adopted and donor conceived people saying that there are significant psychological and emotional issues surrounding identity and who are we and where do we belong in this world.”
- “Still is this feeling of being rootless. And it is probably impossible to describe what that feeling is unless you experience it.”
- “You can be grateful for your life and the parents who raised you and there can still be a gaping hole that you need to fill in because of this fundamental, existential uncertainty that you have about who you are.”
- Bio ethics issues.
- Albert’s personal views about sperm donor conception and surrogacy in different circumstances.
- Albert’s Jewish heritage and the significance of this living in Vienna.
- Birthrights that Albert feels have been taken from him.
- Albert’s career as a concert pianist and his wondering about where this talent came from.
- Nature vs nurture.
August 25, 2019
“A different way of thinking” - On parenting Coordination overseas and recently in Australia with Dr Astrid Martalas and Craig Schneider, South Africa. AFCC Series.
- What is parenting co-ordination?
- How long does parenting co-ordination last?
- High conflict matters and court resources.
- Powers of the Court not usurped by parenting coordination – judicial authority and parenting coordination?
- Role of parenting coordinator to assist, facilitate and empower the parties.
- Education by the parenting coordinator.
- Transforming the way parents relate to each other so ultimately, hopefully they can resolve their disputes directly.
- Parenting coordination as a logical extension of the mediation process in Australia.
- Parenting coordination is not therapy and is not legal advice, a new profession of the “parenting coordinator.”
- Training and qualifications to become a parenting coordinator.
- Domestic violence and parenting coordinator.
- Including an order in Consent Orders for parenting coordinator.
- Recommendations by the parenting coordinator can be used in Court proceedings.
- South African experience with parenting coordination and the use of PC clauses in consent orders and parenting plans and how it grew and developed organically.
- Research in Canada and America on the reduction of re-ligation.
- History of parenting coordination.
- Hong Kong, Singapore, Spain, UK and Australian training.
- America, Canada and South Africa and the history of parenting co-ordination.
- Australian WA experiences of parenting coordination.
- Will there be resistance to parenting coordination in Australia? Recent judgment regarding several aspects of PC.
- Breaches of orders and contravention applications and how PC may reduce this.
August 25, 2019
“They count for something” – Darren Mort (Barrister, actor and director, Melbourne) on Child focused separation including the book and film ‘Tommy’. AFCC Series
- Darren’s career history of acting, producing and working as a barrister in family law.
- The story of Tommy – Film and children’s book about Tommy whose parents are separating.
- To Be Loved organisation, creating resources to support parents and children through separation.
- Darren’s personal views about how courts should not be used as a forum to abuse an ex partner and children having a more adequate presence in the court
August 25, 2019
“What are these problems?” Dr Phil Stahl (psychologist and expert witness, Arizona) on the specific issues that complicate post separation parenting. AFCC series.
- Dr Stahl’s experience and work throughout the United States and the world.
- How the majority of parents can develop problems on their own via Alternative Dispute Resolution.
- 20% or so of families there are problems that make it difficult to resolve disputes.
- Domestic violence and different types of violence: separation instigated violence, situational couple violence, coercive controlling violence. How in coercive controlling violence escalates after separation. Need to differentiate violence the type of violence in a family.
- Technology and stalking.
- Substance abuse – an issue across the world.
- Relocation – creates several complications. Language, culture, distance issues and child development that follow.
- Personality style / mental health of parents: narcissism, psychopathy and other personality issues. High conflict parties. Difficult personalities, for example co-parenting with Donald Trump.
- Parents who hate each other more than they love their children.
- Film “Tommy” by Darren Mort, showing the traumatic affects of conflict and other issues such as substance abuse by parents on a child.
- Firstly acknowledge the work we have been doing in the area.
- Secondly ensure there are enough resources for the Court to be able to make proper assessments.
August 25, 2019
“Building strength and resilience between the parents” - Our Family Wizard with Timothy McMichael and Rachael Howitz. AFCC series.
- Website and mobile app for co-parents who have separated.
- Messaging functions with tone metre (“spell check “ for your tone), calendar function, parenting schedule, info bank (storing medical information).
- Lawyers and other professionals can also be given access to the parties account.
- Tone metre – developed by a linguistics company. Gives parents a moment to reflect prior to sending a message.
- Calendar function to assist parents – auto populating of time arrangements.
- Communication, school, medical information and time arrangements in one place.
- Messages from children can be uploaded to Our Family Wizard.
- Admissibility of documents uploaded to Our Family Wizard. Nothing can be deleted or created/ tampered with. Mediators can also use access to Our Family Wizard.
- Fees (approx $130 per party) and giving back to the community.
- Security, encryption of data.
- Future of our Family Wizard: Geo-tagging function being developed and moments section to share what parents have been enjoying doing with the children. Building strength and resilience between the parents.
August 25, 2019
“Winning and losing is not going to be helpful” - Timothy McMichael (Mediator of the Year in New Zealand) on comparing mediation in New Zealand and Australia. AFCC series.
- Both New Zealand and Australia place importance on family law mediation.
- Family mediation works in similar ways in New Zealand and Australia.
- Parties in New Zealand are allowed more hours of mediation than in Australia.
- Several multiple sessions of mediation in New Zealand.
- Issue of delays in Court in New Zealand.
- Recommendations regarding family law reform in New Zealand.
- Child focused and child inclusive mediation in New Zealand.
August 25, 2019
“Talking to a wall” – Reflections on how surrogacy in Australia, following a personal experience with Stephen Page (lawyer, Brisbane). AFCC series.
- Stephen Page’s personal journey to have his daughter Elizabeth using surrogacy: “overwhelming joy of generosity” from the surrogate
- Bumps in the road along the surrogacy journey; medicare rebait, changing clinics. Also the surrogate had a miscarriage and later an ectopic pregnancy.
- Issues in the hospital following the birth of Elizabeth.
- Reflections on potential changes to surrogacy in Australia, following his own personal experience.
August 25, 2019
“Don’t you ever get a spot on your shirt?” Dr Robert Simon (United States Forensic Psychologist) on how all parents make mistakes and understanding each families unique culture specific to them. AFCC series.
- Focus of his talks at the AFCC Conference.
- Dr Simon’s history in family law, around the world and in particular in the United States.
- Understand a families “Culture” and their “culture”. Each family has their own culture unique to them.
- Usually, the greatest risk to children is the conflict in and of itself, not the thing they are having the conflict about: “The problem is not the problem.”
- It is incredibly hard, but rewarding to work through these issues as a parent:
- There is something about the process of conflict that draws you in. Parents are not bad people for having made mistakes: “I made all the mistakes.“
- How to change and learn how to put your children first during separation.
- The need for forgiveness of each other and of yourself.
- Do you ever get a spot on your shirt? Find a therapist who presents as authentic and fully human.
August 11, 2019
Jeffrey Choy “looking for little shiny baubles” – Jeffrey on his personal experience with separation and his work today as a family lawyer
- History of Jeffrey’s career and personal experience with divorce prior to working as a family lawyer.
- Jeffrey’s personal experience having ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder) and how he has made this work to his advantage as a family law.
- Tips on preparation of affidavit evidence
- Jeffrey’s personal experiences and the fall out years later after a separation including his continued estrangement from his daughter.
- Jeffrey’s tips for parties going through the process based on his own personal experiences and as a lawyer
- Jeffrey’s family history with his family migrating from China to Australia in the 1850’s during the Gold Rush and the migration back and forth between Australia and China of his grandparents and parents.
- Cultural issues in family law and how in Chinese culture you often veer away from emotion and how in Asian cultures more generally dealing with emotions can be difficult.
- Chinese Australian families in the Australian family law process – are cross cultural issues understood?
- Different family structures and different concepts of closeness in Chinese families; second and third cousins are considered as akin to siblings versus the Ango- Australian families which are much more focused on the nuclear family.
- Migrant experience of sacrifice and the fact they often do need to send their children back overseas to be raised by extended family.
- Jeffrey’s views on the proposed ALRC recommendations
- Jeffrey’s approach to family law matters.
- Good on Jeffrey for speaking so openly about his ADHD and how he has found a way to make it work for (not against him) in his career.
July 6, 2019
“marking the end” – David Leckie (Global Director) on amicably separating through Divorce Hotel International
David and I discuss:
- David Leckie's background
- Aims of Divorce Hotel International
- History of Divorce Hotel International
- Process for separating via Divorce Hotel International
- Children being affected by exposure to conflict and how this changes who they will become as adults.
- Preparatory work and screening
- Actual process over the weekend at Divorce Hotel
- Marking the end of the relationship
- Experts available during mediation process
- How clients are seeking something else/ pushing other agendas that are not always met via the Court process (i.e. marking the emotional end to the relationship)
- Holistic approach at Divorce Hotel, including the types of professionals who may be available to support clients
- Divorce hotel coming to Sydney soon... Stay tuned
For more on Divorce Hotel International see https://www.divorcehotel.co.uk/
For more on Zoë's work as a mediator and author of Inside Family Law (the book) see www.mediationanswers.com.au
Zoë is also a consultant lawyer at Evans Elliott Lawyers https://www.eelawyers.com.au/our-people