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Recorded Online Conferences

Beyond the Pale: Challenging Parenting Matters for Family Lawyers - Recorded Online Conference

Hear from the experts at this online lunchtime conference. You can watch it on your computer or on your portable electronic device from anywhere.


About the Recorded Online Conference

You can put your staff in the boardroom and watch it there. You can watch it on your computer or on your portable electronic device. All for the same low price.

The conference will be based on our highly successful video webinar technology: there’ll be a chairperson, a panel of experts, presentations and discussion.

Session 1: Parenting Disputes and the Child’s Best Interests Following the High Court’s Decision in Bondelmonte

The paramount consideration in any parenting case is determining what is in the best interest of the child. There are a range of factors that should be considered. However, as the High Court demonstrated recently in Bondelmonte v Bondelmonte, not all factors are given equal weight. This practical session looks at how the court assesses what is in the best interest of the child. It covers:

  • What does “best interests of the child” mean?
  • Understanding the primary and additional considerations under the Family Law Act
  • Children’s express wishes and views – what weight are they given?
  • Spotlight on the High Court’s decision in Bondelmonte v Bondelmonte [2017] HCA 8
  • Parental alienation – how do the courts respond?
  • Court delays in determining parenting matters – how does this impact parental responsibility?
  • Recent cases

Session 2: Impact of Substance Abuse in Parenting Matters

Once allegations of drug or alcohol abuse have been raised in family law proceedings, the court will take the allegations very seriously. As a family lawyer, what can you do to assist your client who has an ex partner that is either still using drugs, or was a previous drug user? This session looks at the challenges of substance abuse in parenting matters and covers:

  • Evidence gathering – what evidence is needed to show substance abuse is an issue?

    • urine screen analysis

    • hair analysis

    • subpoenaing third parties

  • Seeking orders for drug testing

  • How should this evidence be presented before the court?

  • Use of actuarial risk assessments

  • Engaging the right of expert in these matters

  • Will positive drug tests result in the children being placed with the other parent?

  • What is in the best interest of the child?

    • protecting a child from physical or psychological harm

    • providing for the emotional and intellectual needs of the child

    • avoiding family violence

Session 3: Managing Complex Child Support Matters

While you may not see child support matters on a daily basis, there can be the odd tricky one that comes across your desk and forces you to consider a number of complex administrative and legal issues. This session examines:

  • Working through the procedures – what does that involve and where do you begin?

  • Child support agreements:

    • strategies to gain early agreement

    • what to include in the agreement – a practical guide

  • Objections, reviews and appeals

  • What happens if a parent doesn’t comply with a court order?

  • Hague Convention on the International Recovery of Child Support – what is Australia’s position?

  • Case study: Variation of overseas maintenance and child support applications in Australian courts

  • Child Support Registrar v Higgins [2016] FamCAFC 2

The Faculty

Ian Kennedy AM, Senior Partner, Kennedy Partners, Melbourne (Chairman) Graeme Hearl, Senior Partner and Accredited Family Law Specialist, Delaney Lawyers, Sydney Peter Magee, Partner, Armstrong Legal, Sydney Catherine Devine, Barrister, Melbourne

CPD Information

Lawyers can claim up to 3 CPD units/points.


If you need assistance or have an enquiry, please do not hesitate to contact our Event Coordinator, Hayley Williams—Cameron on (03) 8601 7730 or email: [email protected]

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