Monday, 14 August 2017

Blokes and Braids

Over the last couple of months, we have collaborated with Cat Nickless of Glamzilla to host several hair braiding workshops for dads to spend special time bonding with their daughters. Of course, as Family Lawyers we didn’t know the first thing about braiding or styling hair and we are very grateful to Cat for her support and enthusiasm.

The interest took us all by surprise with the workshops selling out within hours. We had interest as well from mums who, not only wanted to learn how to braid hair but wanted to spend quality time with their children.  Our workshops then evolved into Birds, Blokes and Braids.

At the beginning of the workshops each child is given a goodie bag of hair accessories including a brush, comb, hair clip and bobbles for use during the class and to take home at the end of the workshop. We recently heard from a dad who had attended our first workshop with his 8-year-old daughter, he said he regularly now styles his daughters hair for school referring to her goodie bag as ‘dad’s tools’.

Monday, 31 July 2017

Bayside Collaborative and Heartlinks

Bayside Collaborative Family Lawyers are always keen to support and collaborate with charities and organisations to enhance our local community.

For several years, we have worked alongside Family Life in Sandringham often referring our clients to the services offered. For those that haven’t heard of Family life they are an independent, innovative community organisation who are dedicated to working with vulnerable families and communities. 

Their mission is to enable children, young people and families to thrive in caring communities with a belief that every child has the right to grow up safely in the care of their families with the support of a caring community. Who wouldn’t want to support such a mission and belief?

Heartlinks is a social enterprise business of Family Life providing relationship education and counselling services in our Bayside area. Their focus is on supporting individuals and families to build healthier relationships by offering professional support and learning through relationship and communication seminars, workshops and individual or family focused support.

Heartlinks are planning to run the following workshops during August and September on either a Monday or Wednesday evening:

  • Communicating with your Adolescent
  • Post Separation Parenting
  • Better Relationships for couples
  • Successful Step Parenting and Blended families

In addition to the workshops, Heartlinks can also support you through challenging times in your relationship by providing counselling either individual or family focused support.

All workshops and Counselling sessions take place at the Family Life offices in Sandringham.

For more information please read the information sheets in the links below or contact Heartlinks (03) 8599 5488

Heartlinks Adolescent Workshop Flyer August 2017

Heartlinks Positive Parenting after Separation Flyer August 2017

Monday, 24 July 2017

When to introduce your children to a new partner?

Is there ever a ‘right’ time to introduce your children to your new partner? Each family is different and there are many factors to be taken into account particularly how the children will react.

Children may still be holding onto the hope that their parents will reconcile and to hear that one or both of their parents has a new partner can be an emotionally challenging and confusing time for them. Of course the age of your child will affect how and when you break the news to them.

As a rule of thumb it is important any new relationship is at a stage whereby it has a future, is a happy relationship and is stable. Some say this is anything from 6 months onwards. It can cause far more harm to your children to continually introduce them to a new partner only weeks later to be introducing them to another new partner.

And what about your new partner – how will they feel about being introduced to your children? They may not have children of their own and may themselves be nervous and unsure as to the road ahead. They themselves may have children and consideration not only needs to be given to the children meetings your new partner but also both sets of children meeting each other.

Here are some helpful tips to consider when introducing your children to your partner:
  • Talk to your children - explain you have a new partner and would like at some point to introduce them to him or her.
  • Keep the first meeting short – it helps to go somewhere neutral such as a cafĂ© or park.
  • Don’t arrange an overnight stay straight away.
  • Give your children lots of reassurances – your new partner isn’t going to replace their mum or dad.
  • Consider how their mum or dad will feel about you introducing your new partner to your children.
It is likely to take your children some time to accept a new person in your life but with careful planning and support for your children you will be able to sensibly navigate you way through. 

Remember to consider the time since separation, the age of your children and the level of commitment to your new partner.

It is helpful to talk to your former partner and discuss how in the future you intend to both introduce new partners to your children. This can form part of the discussions within the collaborative process to ensure a smooth transition for your children with the support of both of their parents.

Contact Bayside Collaborative for more information

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Is the time ever right?

Following the end of a relationship the prospect of moving on and meeting someone else may seem daunting or even impossible. For many it’s the end of a dream, a happily ever after, a growing old together. The journey towards a fresh start and a new beginning for some can take years to achieve and it is all part of the healing process.

A fresh start may involve a new partner. You may have forgotten how to flirt and nor do you want to risk rejection so where do you start? The world of dating has advanced and your trusted one line catchphrases may not appeal to the opposite sex any more. It’s now common for people to meet through online dating agencies, by scrolling through profile pictures and narrowing the search criteria to the characteristics you are seeking. This in itself can pose a hurdle for those who are not internet savvy.

It is important to have closed the door on a previous relationship and for you to be emotionally ready for a new one. Being able to move on necessitates a period of healing similar to grieving the loss of a loved one. The healing process can be both mental and physical. It’s important to be able to identify who you are, the end of a relationship affects how you perceive yourself and your level of self-esteem. Reigniting and surrounding yourself with friends will help to boost your self-esteem and distract you from the pain you may be experiencing. You may need further help from a professional such as a Psychologist or your GP.

Learning from a breakup will undoubtedly help future relationships to succeed. Look back and question where did the relationship go wrong? Did you take each other for granted? Did you spend enough time together and how can you improve upon that in future relationships?

At Bayside Collaborative whether your relationship is coming to an end or you are starting a new one we can help you start your new life with dignity and respect.  Contact us at

Monday, 26 June 2017

Always the Bridesmaid and never the Bride…..

Married life now begins at 40 with one in ten Australians waiting until their forties to tie the knot. Quite often age and assets go hand in hand. If you are marrying or moving in with someone you may want to think about protecting your current or future assets with a binding family law agreement also known as a pre-nuptial or cohabitation agreement.

What is a cohabitation agreement?

A cohabitation agreement is a binding legal agreement which is used by couples who are planning to live together (a de facto relationship). It explains how your assets, financial resources and any liabilities are to be divided should your relationship come to an end.

What is a pre-nuptial agreement?

As the name suggests it is a binding legal agreement used by couples who plan on marrying one another. Like a cohabitation agreement it explains how your assets, financial resources and liabilities are to be divided should your marriage come to an end. 

Pre-nuptial or cohabitation agreements are often negotiated by way of collaborative practice – where you and your partner and your family lawyers sit around the table to discuss what is important to each of you and both of you together.

At Bayside Collaborative we can guide you in sensitively discussing issues with your partner, either yourself or by us communicating with them directly or with their lawyer.  

For more information about the Collaborative process please contact us or visit our website at 

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Divided Loyalties – it doesn’t have to be that way

Divorce isn’t easy on anyone in the family, and grandparents are no exception. The hurt feelings, sadness and anger that erupt at the time of a separation can threaten and potentially destroy even the most loving of family relationships. For grandparents, focus usually turns to protecting their own son or daughter regardless of whose decision it was to separate. After all blood is thicker than water – isn’t it?
It is crucial for grandparents to try and take a neutral stance in front of their grandchildren. The most important rule to remember is to never speak ill of their former daughter or son in law in front of their grandchildren – never. The family dynamics are changing with one parent perhaps moving out of the family home or the home being sold with children potentially having to move school and friendship circles. Their safety net isn’t as tight as it once was and grandchildren need the stability, reassurance and support from grandparents during this difficult time whilst their parents navigate their separation.
Grandparents often become a grandchild’s confidant during a separation as children feel they perhaps can’t open up to mum or dad or burden them at this time. Whatever a grandparents thoughts are as to the separation one must put their own personal feelings aside and put on their happy face when with their grandchildren. If children hear another family member speaking ill of their mother or father they tend to take it personally and want to defend their mother or father. It puts the grandchild in a difficult position, of choosing sides and of being involved in non-age appropriate conversations. Taking sides or speaking ill of another may result in catastrophic events for grandparents as their grandchildren or former daughter or son in law may prevent all communication and not wish to spend any time with the grandparents. 
As a grandparent you may have been close to your daughter or son in law and in turn their parents and feel a sense of loss by the sudden changing dynamics. Those relationships can continue to prosper albeit there needs to be a mutual desire to do so. 
The most important thing to remember is that children of separated parents whose parents treat each other with kindness and respect are the children who do the best in the long term and the same applies to grandparents.

At bayside collaborative we can assist your child to resolve their separation issues constructively ensuring a positive outcome for your grandchildren.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Constructive Negotiation

How it works

Constructive negotiation enables you and your partner to negotiate with each other through your lawyers.

You each brief your lawyers about your expectations and the lawyers negotiate to reach agreement through correspondence or round table meetings or a combination of both.

With constructive negotiation lawyers play a more active role in the negotiation process.

The method of communication – correspondence, telephone attendances, meetings – can vary but the objective is still to reach a negotiated separation agreement.

This process doesn’t require clients to be together in the same room.

For more information about the Collaborative process please contact us or visit our website at