Marguerite Picard Blog

Hi and welcome to my blog.

This blog is a free resource for you with the aim to educate and express opinions about collaborative family law, divorce, separation and child custody. All articles are informative and are up to date with current practices. Please enjoy reading and take care of yourself. - Marguerite.


I’ll Be Watching You: Family Violence

Domestic Violence | Separation | Male Controllers

“Every breath you take
Every move you make
Every bond you break
Every step you take
I’ll be watching you
Every single day
Every word you say
Every game you play
Every night you stay
I’ll be watching you
O can’t you see
You belong to me…………” By Sting

domestic violence during separation and divorce

I have always thought this Sting song was one of the creepiest things I ever heard. When you read about the textbook controller-victim case of Simon Gittany who murdered his girlfriend Lisa Harnum, it is downright scary. Media reports tell us that Gittany controlled his partner’s every move, and that this form of family violence ultimately escalated to him mudering her in a state of rage.

The only good thing to have come out of the media coverage of this crime is that maybe some women who are in these kinds of controlling relationships will get out before the psychological violence escalates to physical violence. Or they might be able to hear the warnings of their friends and family who can see what the woman in the relationship cannot see. Women need to know though that the time of separation is dangerous, as the controller seeks to take back control, and may continue to do so long after separation. Support and a safety plan are essential when leaving these kind of men.

It is difficult to listen to what Gittany’s new partner Rachel has to say in defence of his behaviour towards the first vicitm in this story, Lisa Harnum. Hopefully she, Gittany’s second victim in this story but no doubt not in his life, will not be waiting for him at the prison gates in 18 or 26 years, because it is unlikely that his behaviour will have changed for the better in the meantime.




Child Custody: When Parents ‘cannot communciate reasonably and civilly with each other at all’.

Child Custody | Family Court Decision A recent decision of the Family Court decided that it was not in the best interests of a child for her parents to have joint responsibility for reaching decisions about major long-term issues with respect to the child. The decision that parents do not share responsibility for a child goes against the usual presumption,… Read more

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Keeping Kids out of the Middle of your Separation

Separation Children Marriage Breakdown Separation is tough. It is especially tough for kids when their parents involve them in the details of the breakdown of the marriage relationship. I recently had a conversation with someone who works in a primary school. It was shocking to learn from her how common it is that children as young as eight and nine… Read more

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The end of homelessness or upgraded tennis facilties?

Homelessness The Need For Political Will The Melbourne Age today ran a front page story about homelessness, and the need for political will to spend money on accommodation and support to keep people in housing. The  funding sought by the Council to Homeless Persons for its ten year plan is said to be less than half of the amount just… Read more

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Talking to your Children after Separation and Divorce

Children the Transition after Divorce I have great admiration for the work of Rosalind Sedacca. The more I work with separating families, the deeper my commitment to the care of children in separating families, and the need for parents to receive support and education in their new role parenting across two households. As always, the article below contains Rosalind’s wisdom… Read more

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Christmas: A good time for all parents to think about their co-parenting style?

Children Do You Fit a Co-Parenting Style? This article is from the website of  Rosalind Sedacca, which is rich with information for parents. As always, I think the article is worth reading. What’s Your Co-Parenting Style — Cooperative, Parallel or Somewhere In-Between? by Cindy Harari, Esq. My Guest Author today is Cindy Harari, Esq. who offers a valuable perspective… Read more

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