53 episodes

Specialist family lawyers Benjamin Bryant and Heather McKinnon and their special guests answer your questions about divorce, separation, children's matters, property settlement and family court. They empower you to make wise decisions for yourself and your family.

The Family Matters Show Heather McKinnon & Benjamin Bryant

    • Education

Specialist family lawyers Benjamin Bryant and Heather McKinnon and their special guests answer your questions about divorce, separation, children's matters, property settlement and family court. They empower you to make wise decisions for yourself and your family.

    Things people do wrong in child custody disputes

    Things people do wrong in child custody disputes

    Ben and Heather have put together a "top 10" list of mistakes people make when it comes to child custody disputes.  In this episode they explain why each of these is a mistake and what you could consider doing instead.


    Bad-mouthing the other parent – especially in front of your child.
    Trying to make your child feel sorry for you.
    Refusing to communicate with the other parent.
    Denying the other parent access to their child.
    Putting your own interests ahead of your child’s.
    Making big decisions about your child without consulting the other parent – ie/ school, medical treatment, place of residence.
    Telling your child that they get to choose their living arrangements.
    Lying to the court about your drug or alcohol use.
    Coaching your child before family report interviews.
    Breaching court orders.

    • 25 min
    How the Court deals with domestic violence

    How the Court deals with domestic violence

    In this episode Ben and Heather are joined by barrister Rhys O'Brien, a specialist in complex family law matters, to talk about how the Court deals with Domestic Violence (Family Violence).  They cover a wide range of topics, including the following:


    The difference between how a Family Law Court and a Criminal Court view domestic violence.
    Apprended Violence Orders (AVOs)
    Does there need to be an AVO in place before the Family Court considers domestic violence claims?
    What evidence does the Family Court need to satisfy itself that domestic violence is an issue?
    Will the court require Family Dispute Resolution (mediation) in domestic violence cases?
    How do accusations of domestic violence affect Parenting Order decisions?
    Can domestic violence claims impact a Court's decision about a financial settlement?

    Also discussed was the Family Law Amendment Bill that has been passed through Parliament and will take effect in May 2024 and includes a "streamlined" parenting framework simplifying the "best interests factors".  This legislation may impact how the Court deals with domestic violence issues when deciding children's matters.

    • 26 min
    Community Questions - Take 7

    Community Questions - Take 7

    This month Ben and Heather addressed a wide array of family law questions from the community, touching on a number of common issues faced by people going through divorce and separation.

    The questions included:


    Medical Court Orders: I have court orders giving me sole parental responsibility for my child's medical matters, but the medical centre is still allowing my ex to make decisions.  What should I do?
    Passport Applications: I want to go overseas with my child, but my ex won't sign the passport application.  What can I do?
    Visitation in Prison:  My ex has gone to prison recently.  Can I prevent future visitation by my children?
    Mediation Costs: It's been recommended that I have a solicitor & a barrister at mediation.  Do I need to go to this expense?
    Domestic Violence: I failed to show up at to court when police charged my ex for domestic violence.  Will this count against me in Family Court?
    Relocation: My partner is relocating.  Do we need to get a lawyer involved to change parenting arrangements?
    Property Settlement: If I buy a new car before the property settlement is completed can my ex make a claim on the car?
    Advising Your Ex: Do I have to advise my ex that I've enrolled our child in daycare, when the child lives with me 100% of the time and I'm paying the costs?
    Supervised Visits: At what age can a child choose not to attend supervised visits?

    • 32 min
    How mediators and arbitrators handle power imbalances

    How mediators and arbitrators handle power imbalances

    On this episode, Ben and Heather were joined by The Honourable Colin Forrest.  Now retired from the Family Court, Colin now handles mediation and arbitration in family law.  We spoke to him about the delicate subject of managing power imbalances, and potentially domestic violence situations, in mediation and arbitration sessions.  Our discussions covered the following subjects:


    The difference between mediation and arbitration in family law.
    Whether you can be ordered to engage in mediation or arbitration.
    How a mediator/arbitrator will identify signs of abuse or power imbalance.
    Should domestic violence victims avoid mediation or arbitration?
    How are power imbalances dealt with in a mediation or arbitration setting?
    What about other vulnerabilities, such as mental health or disability?
    What does a mediator do if they sense fear or intimidation in a session?
    What happens if a court-ordered Family Dispute Resolution does not proceed?
    What are the advantages and disadvantages of online mediation/arbitration?
    Is a support person helpful in a mediation/arbitration?

    • 32 min
    Indigenous Family Law Courts

    Indigenous Family Law Courts

    On this episode, Ben and Heather are joined by two special guests to discuss the growth of specialist Indigenous family courts, known as Indigenous List.  Retired Federal Circuit Court Judge Robyn Sexton started the very first Indigenous List in Sydney in 2014.  Rick Welsh is proud Murrawarri man and coordinator of The Shed suicide prevention centre focused on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.  These two worked together to design and implement a specialist Indigenous family law court.  Together they discuss the following:


    What is the Indigenous List?
    Why is there a need for a separate court process?
    How was the Indigenous community engaged with the set-up of the court?
    Are kin carers treated differently on the Indigenous List than in regular family court?
    Local experiences with the Indigenous List in Coffs Harbour and Lismore.
    What services are available to First Nations litigants other than those provided by the courts?
    How is the introduction of the Indigenous List impacting First Nations families?

    • 34 min
    Wills & Estate Planning: how things can go wrong

    Wills & Estate Planning: how things can go wrong

    On this episode, Ben and Heather discuss Wills and estate planning, bringing our attention to the many things that can go wrong if you fail to keep your Will and estate plan up to date with your life circumstances, particularly following a family breakdown. They discuss the following questions and scenarios:



    1/ What happens if you die without a Will?

    2/ What happens if you have children from your first marriage, remarry and don't change your Will?

    3/ What happens if you separate from your partner, but don't change your Will?

    4/ What happens if you divorce your partner, but don't change your Will?

    5/ What if you have children, but don't change your Will to include them as beneficiaries?

    6/ What if you have children and don't specify guardianship?

    7/ When you change your Will can you add notes to an existing Will or do you need to start again?

    8/ What assets should (and should not) be included in your Will?

    9/ What happens if the estate has debts?

    10/ What are the responsibilities of an executor and what should you look for when choosing your executor?

    11/ What happens if you have a serious accident or illness that leaves you unable to manage your affairs?

    12/ Do you need a lawyer for estate planning or can you DIY?

    • 34 min

Top Podcasts In Education

The Jefferson Fisher Podcast
Civility Media
The Mel Robbins Podcast
Mel Robbins
TED Talks Daily
TED
Try This
The Washington Post
The Jordan B. Peterson Podcast
Dr. Jordan B. Peterson
UNBIASED
Jordan Is My Lawyer

You Might Also Like