Monday, 19 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.

Monday, 12 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

Sunday, 4 June 2017

Two birthdays – wouldn’t that be nice

Previously having two birthdays a year was reserved for the likes of the Monarchy. Just imagine, two parties, two birthday cakes and if you are lucky two sets of presents. 

Queen Elizabeth celebrates her official birthday this year on the 12th June being the 2nd Monday of the month and a public holiday. It’s an opportunity to have a long weekend spending time with family.

Nowadays having two birthdays is becoming a popular occurrence given the increasing number of separated families with each parent wanting to enjoy and make the most of theirs and their child’s special day. Celebrating twice is not only reserved for birthdays but also other special family occasions such as Christmas, mother’s day, father’s day and Easter.

Often negotiating arrangements for children to spend time with both parents can become problematic and lead to upset, anger and frustration. What is of primary importance though is for children, regardless of their parents differences to still spend time with both of their parents at special times however that can be facilitated.

Choosing to adopt a collaborative approach to discuss arrangements for your children following a separation will prevent such difficult and upsetting conversations and help you focus on what is important for your children. 

Visit our website for more information 

Monday, 29 May 2017

So what is Mediation?


Mediation is a voluntary and confidential negotiation process in which a professionally trained mediator helps you and your partner to identify, address and resolve the issues surrounding separation and divorce.

How it works

Mediation takes place over one or more meetings.

The mediator facilitates discussion but does not provide any legal advice or make any decisions, which means that ultimately the solutions in mediation are created by you and your partner. The mediator remains neutral at all times, simply managing the process and assisting with the exchange of information and the development of the divorce settlement.

You are both free and encouraged to obtain legal advice about legal issues that arise during the course of the mediation.

Mediation has a high success rate. Lawyers can represent parties in the mediation process but often parties attend mediation without a lawyer. 

Visit our website for more information 

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Is the Collaborative process right for me?

You may be asking yourself what the Collaborative Process is and whether it is right for you.

Collaborative Practice:-
  • Gives you direct control over outcomes.
  • Promotes consensus and agreement.
  • Minimises conflict.

With Collaborative Practice, the focus is on achieving solutions that meet your individual needs and requirements. The process is underpinned by a commitment to resolve issues by agreement without the involvement of the family law court or the threat of litigation.

The next step would be for you and your partner to each choose a Collaboratively Trained Lawyer. The lawyers need to work well together as this is one of the key factors in the success of the process. Your partner’s lawyer may suggest the names of other collaboratively trained lawyers they have worked with well in previous cases.
How it works
The discussion and negotiation in Collaborative Practice takes place through a series of meetings involving you and your partner and your collaboratively trained lawyers.

Other professionals including child specialists, financial experts and valuers can be brought into the process as required. These specialists work with you and your lawyers to identify, explore and resolve the concerns of both parties.

Collaborative practice requires complete, open, honest and transparent disclosure of all information. It’s very effective and has a success rate of about 95%. 

Visit our website for more information 

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Mother's Day

How will you be celebrating Mother’s day this year? 

Many families celebrate Mother’s Day by showing their appreciation for the achievements and efforts of their mothers and mother figures. Some mums get breakfast in bed, some flowers and chocolates, some mums simply seek peace and quiet.

Families are ever evolving and come in all shapes and sizes in today’s society. For separated families Mother’s Day can be a day as complicated as birthdays and Christmas requiring months of preparation and planning. 

It is helpful to plan ahead and to try and reach an agreement as to who the children should spend time with on important days of the year such as Mother’s Day. This avoids confrontation, anxiety and stress in the lead up to the occasion. It is important to remember during negotiations that it is not what is convenient to you that is important but what is in your child’s best interests.

At Bayside Collaborative we offer a range of ways to resolve issues between you and your spouse or partner. We will help you reach an agreement and formulate a parenting plan which will reduce conflict and acrimony between you. This in turn leads to better relationships and outcomes for all the family.

Don’t forget this year Mother’s day falls on the 14th May 2017.

Visit our website for more information 

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Anzac Day

In this week we have honoured Anzac day.  April 25th is one of Australia’s most important national holidays. It marks the anniversary of the First Major Military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War. Generations of families and friends coming together to remember those that gave their lives during the First World War. It’s also a time to reflect and be thankful for your friends – your mates.

The term ‘Mateship’ can be traced back to early colonial times when men and women relied on one another for all sorts of help during hard times. It’s a term that implies a shared experience, unconditional assistance, going beyond that of friendship. Mateship is often used amongst men and became prevalent during the First World War during the challenging times male soldiers were faced with.

Over the years “Mateship” has become an Australian idiom embodying friendship, loyalty and equality. Friendships are some of the most important relationships a person has in their life with many a memory having been made with a friend. A mate is there when times are good and also when times are tough.

Friends can be the first person to notice a change in a friend. Not knowing what to do or say at times can be hard, frustrating and upsetting. It can also be emotionally challenging. You may notice a friend has stopped calling you, has become withdrawn or their behavior has changed. Being there for your mate and knowing what to do can in itself be difficult.

We have set out below some pointers to help you help your mate when times are tough.

  • Encourage your mate to talk to other people, be it a counsellor, a lawyer, a family member or you.
  • Be informed – do some research into what your mate is going through. Being able to understand what your mate is experiencing will reassure them.
  • Let your mate know you care – tell them
  • Be physical – give your mate a hug
  • Do something together – perhaps something unique to the two of you. This will help your mate take their mind off the problem and have some fun
  • Listen – just by being there and listening can be invaluable support for your mates.

Take time to catch up with your mates. Give your mate a call and let them know you are there for them.

At Bayside Collaborative we are here to help your mate who may be contemplating or going through a separation work through their issues in order to make decisions that are right for them.