– The definition of "family" is complex today, and "family" means different things to different people.

Family Are We That Different Today?

The definition of “family” is complex today, and “family” means different things to different people. This change has happened over time.

That “family” is  a cornerstone in the lives of Australians has not changed over time.


What Happens Today During A Permanent Family Separation?

Parents and adults in families going through separation express anguish and deep concern about how separation will affect the future of their family. This is often most immediate when there are younger children in the family, bringing a need for changes to living arrangements, education and the time children spend with each parent.

The concerns of parents of adult children can be more focused on the long term, and about how separation will impact on extended family, grand children, and their sense of the place of their family in the world. They often have concerns about how important family occasions will be celebrated.

In the process of separation during a divorce, opportunities for conversations about longer term interests of the family can be missed amongst the grief, anger, sadness, loss, and the need for practical arrangements to be made.

Resolving separation issues in a Collaborative divorce team allows couples to have meaningful conversations about the long term. In my practice as a collaborative divorce lawyer, a counsellor or psychologist, working as a communication coach, has proven to be outstandingly effective in helping families to transform from the old to the new.

Where families have not had this opportunity at the time of separation and or divorce, it is never too late. A family can engage in this process at any time.

Families can shift, without shifting their cornerstone.

by Marguerite Picard, Family and Collaborative Divorce Lawyer, Melbourne