Family Law

When a family is going through separation and divorce it is usually a time of intense emotion for many of the family members.   At Goldwyn Lane we offer help at a number of levels.

Counselling

Family separations are possibly one of the most emotional times people will ever encounter in their lives.  All emotions need to be acknowledged as valid, but some can get in the way of negotiating the best outcome for all family members, especially the children.  Counselling with a psychologist can help with sorting out which emotions are valuable in moving on to a different life structure, and how the other feelings can be managed in a healthy way.  A psychologist can assess how each family member is travelling in the separation process and suggest avenues in which each one can be meaningfully supported.

Mediation

Mediation is a service provided to help the parents negotiate a way forward for everyone to move on with their lives.  Sometimes people get stuck trying to sort it out themselves and frequently get derailed into unproductive arguments.   It helps to have an independent person guiding the process and making sure the outcome is fair.

At this time we are not in a position to offer services for parties where there are high levels of acrimony.  For access to mediation where personal safety is assured please contact either:

Family Relationship Centre, Ashmore.  T: 07 5656 1700

Relationships Australia, Mermaid Beach.  T: 1300 364 277

For parents who are hopeful of finding a solution through the process of negotiation, are willing to employ some give and take, and feel it is important that the other parent hears their point of view before making a final decision, please call us.

Family Reports

If the parents cannot reach agreement by mediation or by a round table discussion with legal representation, then the debate is progressed to a magistrate’s decision in the Family Court.  To help the magistrate make up his mind a Family Report is written by a psychologist (or other professional).  This involves interviewing each of the parents and also the children.  Each parent is observed interacting with the children.  Guided by her professional understanding of parentchild interactions the psychologist forms impressions and opinions on what she has seen and heard, and makes recommendations in the report.

This service is unavailable from our practice at this current time.

 Individual Assessments

There are times in the family law process that one parent’s ability to be a fit carer for the child is brought into question.  In these circumstances there may be allegations of domestic violence, mental illness, substance abuse or sexual abuse.  There are also times when a child is presented by each parent as having very different characteristics, views, preferences or experiences, and it is difficult to tell who is more accurate.

In these situations we can undertake comprehensive individual assessments and if required, provide a detailed medico-legal report to assist the court.  The assessments are usually requested by one party’s solicitor.