In the News

September 4, 2017

Winners of the Australian Law Awards reign supreme

The names of the very best that law has to offer have been revealed at the 17th Australian Law Awards.

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August 28, 2017

Family Lawyer issues social media warning

Jennifer Hetherington has issued a warning over the use of social media in family court cases, saying that the guaranteed way clients will lose “is to wage war with an ex on social media”.

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March 5, 2017

Parents in harm’s way as custody centre waiting list blows out

Parents fleeing domestic violence who need a safe place for child custody visits face waiting up to nine months to use the one free centre that covers the whole of Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Logan and Ipswich.

Family lawyers say the demand for a spot at the secure child contact centre is so high that parents are ­opting to use places such as highway service stations, which at least have CCTV, as a changeover point for children.

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January 20, 2017

Why you need to bring in Family Law Specialists

It’s a worrying scenario – the struggling solicitor trying to please clients who want legal advice on something their lawyer’s not trained for.

The lawyer wants to keep faith with the client and, more significantly, wants to keep the client.

So what do you do if you’re, say, a commercial lawyer, and your client announces he’s getting divorced and your firm doesn’t have a family law section?

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January 10, 2017

Lawyers brace for ‘Divorce Month’

Yesterday marked the first working Monday in January, signalling a “flood” of divorce actions after Christmas.

We have the same experience as UK lawyers, with a marked rise in inquiries and instructions from clients who want to start the new year separate from their partner.

Pressures building over the holiday period contribute to this, especially financial pressures. In the UK, surveys indicate 40 per cent of separating couples cite financial pressure.

However, couples who are on the verge of separating need to be properly advised, to avoid any rash decisions.

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November 22, 2016

Collaborative Law the key to family law success

If it can manage to overcome entrenched mindsets within the profession and gain more awareness with the public, collaborative law will be the way of the future for family law in Australia.

Navigating your way out of a relationship does not have to be done on a battlefield, especially if there are children to be considered. Too many children are becoming emotional casualties of their parents’ divorce and more needs to be done to protect them from trauma.

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October 19, 2016

Brisbane law firm sounds alarm on impending Faulkner book

The Christmas release of Ms Faulkner’s book All for my Children could come under family law legislation, which has a section making it illegal to identify children in custody issues.

The book could send the wrong message to couples in custody disputes and has the potential to do more harm than good. If you go on social media and tell the world about your fight with your ex over the kids, and identify them, it could rebound badly on you in the Family Court.

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October 12, 2016

Brisbane Lawyer invites Hanson to ‘spend a week in my shoes’

“Rather than stand up in the Senate and deliver an ill-informed rant against family lawyers, try spending a week in my shoes. Come with me to the family courts and experience first-hand what we have to deal with,” Ms Hetherington said.

She referred to Ms Hanson’s attack on the family law courts as “Senate diatribe” and said the politician showed “astonishing ignorance”.

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August 18, 2016

Heightened social media use to backfire on domestic violence cases

Separating couples are increasingly using social media sites to fight bitter relationship breakdown wars, despite some being under domestic violence orders (DVOs).

Although many of these cases seem to be falling through the cracks, under Queensland law, monitoring an ex’s social media pages could be classed as domestic violence.

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July 13, 2016

Hard lessons from Channel 9’s child abduction saga

From a family law perspective, the child abduction fiasco in Lebanon earlier this year continues to generate shock waves.

It began in April when Channel Nine’s 60 Minutes funded a child abduction in Lebanon for a Brisbane mother locked in a custody war with her estranged Lebanese husband.

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March 11, 2016

Family court judges over-stretched and unable to allow enough time for cases

Families sometimes have only 14 minutes alotted for their cases because over-stretched judges in family courts are typically dealing with 20 to 30 matters a day. Our nation’s children deserve more than 14 minutes of justice…
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October 29, 2015

It’s Saturday – your turn to have the kids

Disagreements are increasingly happening almost every weekend where sports clubs and children’s dance classes have to be structured around family weekend custody arrangements…

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September 15, 2015

Australia should clone NZ’s domestic violence response system

A Brisbane family law expert says New Zealand may have the answer to Australia’s complicated system of dealing with domestic violence complaints.

Jennifer Hetherington says New Zealand is using a system where an urgent domestic violence or parental custody application can be processed online within minutes of a judge receiving it.

Steve spoke to Jennifer Hetherington who is a family law specialist in Brisbane…

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June 03, 2015

Juggling law with motherhood and giving back

Jennifer Hetherington has worked as a lawyer for close to 20 years and one of the difficulties has been balancing her demanding career with motherhood and her passion-fuelled work in the community…

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August 26, 2014

Taking action to stop the violence

It’s been recently reported there were 64,246 domestic violence incidents recorded in 2013, while 18 of the 49 homicides in Queensland that year occurred in the home. Family lawyers work on an almost daily basis with victims of such violence and see the evil of it…

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August 14, 2014

Shine a light on complex system

A Queensland family law specialist has applauded renewed focus on the difficult process to secure domestic violence protection orders from the courts for victims…

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March 31, 2014

Facebook, Family, Friends and Fools – the four obstacles for divorcing couples

Given Australia’s growing divorce rates, there is an alarming degree of public ignorance and misinformation about the property and asset split entitlements for separating couples…

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December 16, 2013

Ex-partners should follow 6 tips when exchanging the kids

When you had children you never envisaged it might one day come to this – standing in a fast food restaurant car park exchanging the kids with your ex-partner….

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October 10, 2013

The top 10 mistakes made by Family Court witnesses

Heading to Family Court? Don’t make these fundamental mistakes…

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May 19, 2011

Ask an Expert

Live Q and A on Family Law issues with Madonna King

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