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.


After the separation: harmony or harm?

Collaborative practice has a better chance of supporting and helping people to manage separation than litigation will ever have.


Separation – Safety Concerns for Parents

The Australian Institute of Family Studies has released research about safety concerns for parents after separation. In a study of 7,000 families, the good news is that for 60% of families, a friendly or co-operative parenting relationship was established. For 20% of families there were concerns about emotional abuse after separation, and alarmingly for another 20% of families, there were concerns about physical safety.

It is urgent that we address this problem. Provision of counselling support for both parents as part of the litigation system may help to identify and resolve the triggers for behaviour and perceptions about safety.

What seems to be missing from discussion about family violence is the effect that litigation has on family conflict after separation. Litigation does not provide an opportuntiy for people to understand anything of the other person’s experience;  it does not provide an opportunity for people to be heard except as their experience is seen as being relevant to the litigation. Litigation does provide opportunities for people to say many hurtful and damaging things about each other.

In interdisciplinary collaborations, the harms from litigation do not occur. Collaborative practice has a better chance of supporting and helping people to manage separation than litigation will ever have. Litigation is a declaration of war. And we all know how that ends.

by Marguerite Picard, Family Divorce Lawyer, Melbourne, VIC



Separated? Is forgiveness the next step?

Advice for the Recent Divorcee Does the idea of letting go the pain of separation and divorce appeal to you? One of the most helpful steps you can take to let go of anger, sorrow and tension is to forgive your former partner. The secret of forgiveness is that it is all about you, and not about the person you… Read more

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Child Support: Cooling the conversation

Relationship breakdown is never easy. Working out the best way to provide financial support for children after separation seems to be even harder in many families. It creates hot disputes and continues or creates ill-feeling between parents. The existence of a formula in the Child Support Assessment Act has not been a  solution. It can be helpful to remember: Child… Read more

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Divorce: Do I need a lawyer? Answer below.

Maybe you ask this question because you have a perception about what it means to engage a lawyer? And quite likely this is negative perception. You may be thinking that if you see a lawyer you will have to pay unreasonably large sums of money, that you will lose control of your own case, and that the lawyer will make… Read more

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Rights of Children in Detention

Last week, Sister Brigid Arthur took the cause of four children held in detention to the High Court of Australia. Sadly, the children, Sister Brigid and all Australians lost on Thursday 20th January when the Court decided that the continued detention of the children was lawful under the Migration Act. The Court’s decision was made against an acknowledgement that detention… Read more

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Forced Marriage in Australia: Add your voice to the discussion

It would come as a surprise to most of us that there is no specific law preventing the arrangement of forced marriages in Australia. We do have laws preventing human trafficking and kidnap, but these may not prevent forced marriages being arranged in Australia and taking place in other countries. The Australian Government has released a discussion paper and is… Read more

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