LawSense Managing Separated Families & Family Law Issues in Schools

Navigating Recent Legislative Change, Court Orders, Rights, Obligations and Domestic Violence Concerns

Date29 February 2024
Time12.00pm-3.00pm AEDT (Syd / Melb time)
FormatLive Online & Recorded - recordings available for viewing until 30 March 2024 after which access expires
PricingWebinar Pricing: $255
Price includes GST
SectorAll Schools
PDAddresses 7.2 of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers


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12.00    LawSense Welcome

12.05    Chairperson’s Introduction

Jane Macneil, Company Secretary, Yarra Valley Grammar School

12.15    Understanding and Interpreting Family Court Orders and DVO’s/AVO’s/IVO’s, Including the Impacts of the Family Law Amendment Act 2023

  • Outlining how Family Court Orders can dictate:
    • the obligations of parents, including consequences of non- compliance
    • school obligations
  • Examining legislative changes including those regarding:
    • the making and varying of parenting orders and what is considered
    • removal of the presumption of equal shared parental responsibility
    • enforcement of parenting orders
    • introduction of ‘harmful proceedings orders’
    • requirement for Independent Children’s Lawyer (ICL) to meet with a child and give the child an opportunity to express a view
  • Understanding and interpreting Family Court Orders and parenting agreements including:
    • Interim Orders
    • Final Orders
    • the difference between Family Court Orders and Parenting Plans
    • orders regarding parental responsibility and living with/spending time with one parent or the other
    • responsibility for day-to-day and longer-term decision regarding the child
    • understanding parent rights and responsibilities where there are no court orders or any written agreement/arrangement
  • Learning from examples of different Court Orders and Parenting Plans

DVO’s, AVO’s IVO’s and Other Orders

  • Understanding the different types of apprehended or domestic violence orders and key provisions to be aware of
  • Inconsistency between Family Court and Domestic/Apprehended Violence Orders – which orders take precedence?
  • Learning from examples of different Orders

Wendy Kayler-Thomson, Founding Partner, Forte Family Lawyers

1.15      Break

1.30      Effectively Managing Separated Parents in Schools: Navigating a School’s Obligations in Practice and Learning from Case Studies

  • Outlining key laws and duties applying when dealing with separated parents and families including duty of care, privacy, enrolment contract and court orders

Changes Schools Should Make in Response to Legislative Amendments

  • Practical impacts on schools of proposed amendments to the Family Law legislation

School Obligations – Court Orders, Parents and Families in Conflict

  • Managing your obligations:
    • understanding a school’s obligations to seek information about Court orders
    • following Court Orders
  • dealing with drop-offs and handovers; what if a student does not wish to go with a parent, despite Court Orders?
    • managing conflict:
      • between parents (on or outside school grounds)
      • between families
      • from new partners and in blended families
  • Understanding the extent to which you should investigate and act
  • Parents attending school or activities in breach of parenting arrangements, Family Court, or other Orders – what should you do?

School Obligations – Providing Information to One Parent or the Other

  • Examining factors dictating what information can be provided to a parent or withheld from a parent
  • Understanding the role of the students wishes/consent:
    • when should student consent be sought in releasing information to parents
    • when do student wishes about parent information access override parent requests
    • understanding how student wishes should be documented where information is going to withheld from one parent or another

School Obligations – Providing Information to Non-Parents

  • Understanding rights and obligations in providing information to:
    • step-parents or grandparents; should you pass on messages to the student from grandparents?
    • lawyers for the parent or Independent Children’s Lawyer
    • family professionals providing reports, including Family Report Writers

School Obligations – Domestic Violence / Coercive Control Suspicions and Information Received

  • Exploring domestic violence and coercive control and how it may manifest in schools
  • Understanding your duties where:
    • you suspect domestic violence or coercive control regarding a staff member or parent – to what extent should you make enquiries/investigate?
    • staff or parents provide information or make allegations related to domestic violence or coercive control
  • Conducting risk assessments regarding domestic violence or coercive control following suspicions, information or evidence

Ben Tallboys, Principal, Russell Kennedy Lawyers; Legal Consultant to Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia (AHISA)

2.55      Chairperson’s Conclusion

3.00      Event Close

Presenters / panelists include:

Wendy Kayler-Thomson is a founding partner of Forte Family Lawyers and has practised as a lawyer specialising in family law for over almost 30 years. Wendy is recognised as one of Melbourne’s leading family lawyers in Doyle’s 2024 Guide to the Australian Legal Market. For more than 14 years, Wendy was a member of the Executive of the Family Law Section of the Law Council of Australia, the peak body for Australian family lawyers, and was Chair of the Family Law Section from 2016 to 2018.
Ben Tallboys provides sector-specific, practical legal solutions to schools across Australia. Ben is a passionate and effective advocate for principals dealing with complex matters relating to parents, staff and students, as well as their own employment.

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