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.


Together or Apart

Partner Attraction and Separation

The things that attract us to our partners may in the end be the things that seem to drive us apart as people seek divorce and separation. That can be one of the most painful aspects of the end of a relationship, because we may see our partner devaluing the qualities that they once loved about us.


That can feel like a terrible betrayal. Denigrating once loved qualities is a way that people can face the overwhelming decision to end a relationship. So, often it is not that we have become unloveable any more than we were at the start of the relationship, but in separation we can both lose the ability to put aside each others flaws because we are no longer idealizing each other.


We stop highlighting the positive and going softer on the less attractive qualities of our partner.


Counseling psychologists are able to help divorcing couples see how this is played out in your togetherness, and how you can cope with it when your relationship is coming apart.


Collaborative practitioners who are experienced in working with interdisciplinary teams understand the importance of complex emotional and relational dynamics in separation. It is not something that you will ever hear discussed in litigation or by a judge in a Court. Is that what anyone wants?

One Stop Divorce Shop

Collaborative Divorce Law Practice This isn’t just a great idea, it is already here in Melbourne at the Melbourne Collaborative Alliance (MELCA). MELCA is a centre of excellence where collaborative work with separating families is not just best practice, it is cutting edge the world over. The organisation is an alliance of like minded lawyers, psychologists, child psychologists and financial… Read more

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Creating Agreements or Resolving Disputes?

Collaborative Divorce Practice and Mediation share the goal of helping people to identify common ground and to reach agreements. Families transitioning through separation often work with professionals in these processes, which we refer to as types of alternate dispute resolution.  Would it be more helpful for professionals to describe themselves as facilitating agreements, and not emphasising the idea of dispute… Read more

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“Listening is not waiting to speak”

Does this look and sound familiar? Actively listening to others is more than not interrupting; the first rule of listening is to be fully emotionally present, and we can’t be present if we are focused on our response. Until we have really listened, how can we know our (appropriate) response? Our response needs to be adjusted to what the other… Read more

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“She’s got you beat you can tell by the company she keeps” (with apologies to Chris Cornell)

Our Prime Minister Julia Gillard has struggled in the opinion polls since she took office in June 2010. That is until 48 hours ago, when her knight in shining armour arrived. We are not talking about her partner Tim Mathieson here, but Barack Obama. Since his arrival in Australia her ratings have begun to improve. Our response to this visit has been fascinating.… Read more

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San Francisco and good divorce

Melbourne collaborative divorce practitioners were well represented at the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals conference in San Francisco at the end of October. Our Melbourne Collaborative Alliance hosted a party at the very cool Minna Gallery, where we had the chance to catch up with the Aussies and our international friends from Europe, UK, Canada and the USA. This conference… Read more

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