Happy Monday! I am enjoying some time to reflect on the week ahead on a beautiful sunny morning after personal training before heading off to work. My aim this week is to be purposefully present - that is to slow down and be in the moment in all that I do this week #mindfulmonday
Last night with some of my fab work crew celebrating with our family law colleagues at the annual Christmas Party at Alchemy. It was a lovely night to catch up with many colleagues & delicious food and wine and get out in our finest @scanlantheodore - a vice of a few of us! And a successful function for my first Christmas function and speech in my new role as President! #christmasparty #scanlantheodore
Gorgeous sunrise for early start to watch @mark_w_chapman finish his first half marathon. What a great result he did at 1h 38m. Now to have some breakfast! #gcam17
No two family law matters are alike. It’s like comparing apples and oranges 🍎🍊(or apples and pears in the case of this pretty bowl of sparkling wooden fruit🍏🍐). What happened in a friend’s or family member’s case may not necessarily apply in yours. Getting specialised family advice early on in your matter can be pivotal in which path(or trail) your family law matter takes. #thetrailblazinglawyer #familylawyersbrisbane #familylawyer
Feeling so proud of the PFL team as I pause to reflect on the week and what has been a massive year! Yesterday the Doyle’s Guide list was released and PFL was named one of only three first tier family law firms in Brisbane, @tonyp2910 @sarahbastian_jordan and I were recognized in the Leading Brisbane Family Lawyer List, in such great company of respected colleagues. Even better still Phil and Steph also received individual recognitions, named as Rising Stars for the first time! So proud that the great depth of our amazing team. A big congratulations to colleagues also recognized and a big thank you to our peers for this recognition. #pflteam #leadingfamilylawyers #doylesguide
The first day of summer 🌞 and the start of the silly season (though with the amount of Christmas 🎄 posts I’ve already seen I think it started a little earlier this year). Christmas can be hard for separated parents. Particularly if it’s their first Christmas after their separation. Our firm, Michael Lynch Family Lawyers has prepared an article to assist separated parents during the holidays. A link can be found in my bio. . . . . . . #thetrailblazinglawyer #brisbanedivorcelawyer #brisbanefamilylawyer #divorcelawyer #divorcedonedifferently #innovativesolutions #thinkoutsidethebox #lawyersofinstagram
#tbt to September and my visit to La Rioja, in northern Spain. When picking my handle for Instagram I wanted something reflective of both me personally and how I practice as a family lawyer. My ethos as a family lawyer is not just to recite the law at my clients. Thanks to the amount of information online it is easy enough to get your head around the basic principles of family law. From my first meeting with my clients we are planning, we are talking tactics and we are starting to plan their path (or trail) through to the next chapter. Combine this with some of my favourite holidays involving touring wine and food regions (trails), there seemed nothing more fitting than ‘The Trailblazing Lawyer’. So in following me you’ll see quiet a lot of law but also a little discovery too. #brisbanefamilylawyer #winelover #coffeepowered #thetrailblazinglawyer
Today was a sad day for me, reflecting on the first year since we lost our dear friend @azzatronsmith. I don’t think he could ever have imagined the sadness his passing still causes us. I wanted to share just one of the reasons why I was so fortunate to have him as my friend. He helped me to push myself physically harder than I ever thought possible. In less than 24 hours after this photo of us together was taken, I stepped into the boxing ring for my first fight. I haven’t ever told many people I did this and I didn’t stop at one fight. But none of that would ever have been possible without @azzatronsmith. He was the one who told me I could do it, he was the one training with me at 4.30am in the morning and he was the one in my corner guiding me, encouraging me. I understood from him that I could do anything if I just believed in myself. He gave that gift to so many people without ever wanting anything in return. He is missed by so many, each and every day. His passing made me realise there is no time to take your family, your loved ones or life for granted. Today I thank him for everything he gave to all of us who knew and loved him. 💙 #gonebutnotforgotten
A family pet is often considered as part of the family, but the law in Australia provides that pets are considered chattels (property) and as such in a divorce, their ownership is determined by the court in a property settlement. As a result, reported Family Court cases about family pets are rare. I reviewed a case for our firm’s website and a link can be found in my bio👆🏻 📸by @jessjacksonphotographer Model: Earl Grey 🐈
As part of the PMC over the weekend we conducted one of those tests to work out your personality style to assist us in managing people. Whilst a diverse group, most were Analytical, Driver and Expressive, leaving me in the minority as the Amiable type. I find that having empathy, is the way solutions are found for my clients and one of my favourite parts of being a family lawyer. . #thetrailblazinglawyer #brisbane #brisbanelawyer #familylaw #brisbanedivorcelawyer #brisbanefamilylawyer #lawyer #divorcelawyer #divorcedonedifferently #innovativesolutions #thinkoutsidethebox #lawyersofinstagram
So excited to come home and see that the package that was waiting for collection was these books I ordered through @kickstart. I love what @rebelgirlsbook are all about and I can’t wait to wrap them for Christmas presents for sisters E & O and C & J. The last one I might just have to keep for myself #brisbanefamilylawyer #familylawyer #rebelgirlsbook #raisingstronggirls
Excited to be offering two paid summer clerkship roles to two PLT or final year law students during January and February 2018 with the opportunity of an ongoing full time paralegal role. Further info in bio and applications close this Thursday so if you know anyone suitable tell them to get in quick! #pflteam #familylaw #summerclerkship
Christmas is a really tough time as a single parent. Most of us won't get to have our kids for the whole day and have to juggle family celebrations around parenting agreements or Court Orders. In the past 6 years since my son's father and I separated, I have had some challenging Christmases as I expect he also has. I can spend every other weekend alone but saying goodbye to my kid at 10am and spending the rest of the day alone.... There is just something about that day! This year is 'my year' so we get from 10am together and then a few weeks to holiday. I have a big surprise planned for him to enjoy with Mum not working AT ALL because the courts and all the family law firms shut down. However, as he will be with his Dad from school breakup then with me for a day, a Christmas tree seems just too much hard work...and maybe too hard a reminder of being alone in the days leading up. So, I am cheerfully blaming the kitten in frame who would no doubt destroy the tree in a heartbeat for the lack of a Christmas tree this year...!!!
Big thanks to our client Lisa for the beautiful flowers this week! Our Principal, Courtney Lockett, assisted Lisa recently with a complex family law property transaction where the other party was overseas. Thanks Lisa! 🌷🌷🌷#happyclient
Love wins ❤️My favorite of the many posts today from the gorgeous @colour_and_skulls #marriageequality
Today was challenging for me on a few levels.. You can be the best in the world at your job, but there will always be something that challenges you! Meeting with my Dad and my parents' financial adviser. Talking about stuff you really don't want to contemplate. But, having done what I do for this many years, I had to put on my lawyer hat and ask all the questions... Then I had a coaching session and a PT session. Both necessary and great but challenging!! Then tonight a social event... I know I come across as an extrovert but getting out the door to an event is actually quite a big deal for me. I just find it challenging to get there but generally ok once I arrive! Ironically I enjoyed all of these things. Oh the shoes??!! These are my comfort shoes!! Solid heel for standing functions but still a sandal and in my favourite colours. And wearing them into unfamiliar territory gives me a bit of a talking point.
Happy Monday! 😀My Ritual. Early PT 🏋️🏃and usually a breakfast date with @mark_w_chapman to start the week. Goal this week - to get some balance back. #mondaygoals
When your kids are not with you, it can be helpful to have little reminders around of them. A photo might not be appropriate for your workplace. Or, like me, your photos are all on your phone! This little creation my guy made is on my desk hutch so I can see it when I take a stretch break (which I do lots... Absolutely... Well...I mean to!!) This week my guy is at school camp. He has every second week with his Dad, but this seems different - perhaps because there is no communication at all....?
I don't celebrate Melbourne Cup anymore so instead I had lunch at a friend's place with a few Greek friends of his. Greek food, music and dancing. He is crazy fun and decided the dancing needed to be traditional so pulled out some plates he didn't like anymore that were tucked in the back of his cupboard and smashed them, Greek style. It got me thinking.... Those plates were not serving him anymore. They were hidden away, taking up space. Now they are gone, there is room for something else in their place. When your relationship breaks down, your heart may be shattered like those plates. Or you may be the one who wanted new plates. Whichever you are, consider what your future relationship will be. If you have children, you have the choice to build a new, different relationship. If you keep hanging onto the old plates, arguing about who smashed them, you jeopardise the chance to create a positive co-parenting relationship.
Communication can be tricky in any relationship. Children can act suddenly deaf when asked to put their shoes on in the morning.... Spouses can shut down during disagreements....Former partners can seem obstinate and refuse to discuss issues that are important to you. If communication difficulties are preventing you from having constructive co-parenting discussions, mediation can facilitate a discussion and agree on how you will communicate in future. Collaborative Law and Mediation can help you develop a parenting alliance around many parenting issues you will face (e.g.: when will the kids be allowed a phone?) Now, please tell me I am not the only one with the morning shoe issue???!!
Some days you wake up and it just feels hard. You might be tired - perhaps exhausted. The combination of parenting, working, dealing with your family law case and managing communication with your ex can be completely overwhelming. You aren't sleeping well and you don't have time to take proper care of yourself. But you don't have to do it all perfectly! It's ok to be feeling like it is hard. Just do one thing that makes you feel good. Finding this beautiful shrub rose was a reminder for me that sometimes you literally (as well as figuratively) need to stop and smell the roses. Focus on one thing you enjoy rather than letting yourself be overwhelmed by everything else. Even a smile (a laugh is even better) can make a difference to your brain chemistry, enabling you to cope better.
For the past couple of days I have been fortunate to attend the Resolution Institute Conference. As a Nationally Accredited Mediator and Registered Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner I have to do 20 hours CPD each year (on top of the 15 hours I do as a lawyer). But when you are learning from the best in Australia and New Zealand, it is a privilege, not a chore. Of course, conflict resolution work is not restricted to mediation. It is an integral part of our practice as family lawyers if we want to truly strive to keep families out of court.
Today I got to see my 93 yo Grandad and take him out for a drive and a lovely meal of fish and chips. I don't get to see him often as he lives in New Zealand. He didn't know I was coming over, so it was a big surprise for him. The smile on his face when I opened the back door was just wonderful. My grandparents were a HUGE part of my life growing up. I treasured my times at Nana and Grandad's and used to run away from Brisbane during the Uni summer holidays to stay with them. Many kids are not fortunate enough to have living grandparents. But some miss out on their grandparents due to post divorce conflict. If you could reach a family law settlement in a way that meant your kids could enjoy all their grandparents, wouldn't you want to give it a try? Collaborative Law (Collaborative Practice) offers a divorce with dignity and respect for all family members.
After receiving a Bachelor of Laws in 1997, it was quite a shock to the system to return to study 20 years later. However, a commitment to helping families reach agreement without going to Court meant the @collawaust Graduate Diploma of Family Dispute Resolution was just something that had to be done. Being in Sydney overnight for a mediation meant I could pop in and receive my award at the graduation ceremony, rather than by post. So glad I did! A reminder of the late nights, lost sleep and missed social engagements that went into attaining this. But it was worth it!
Such an honour to win this award on Friday night surrounded by amazing women lawyers. The message I tried to convey in my speech was inspired by recent media and social media events. In short: Until women uplift each other instead of dragging down successful women, the men signing the paychecks will not take us seriously. Until we stop criticising other women's appearances, we can't expect men to stop commenting on them. Let's be the change we want to see in the world and back each other, as well as ourselves!
Returning to Brisbane after a trip to Melbourne it was lovely to see the sun again after its long absence. When you are going through a separation it can feel like the sun will never break through the clouds. But the storm will pass. Your grief will ease. The stress will decrease. The sun will shine again
By now you would have received your postal vote forms in the mail, heard campaigns on the television, debates on the radio and received campaign materials in the mail or in public places. Regardless of your view, it is important during this time, to reflect on our current family law system and the impact legalising same sex marriages may have on that system moving forward. Find out more in our latest blog by Special Counsel, Kate Andrews, below. #samesexmarriage #samesexparents #samesexwedding #samesexcouple #samesexfamilies #samesexdebate
Continuing the food theme... I love learning new things and today, reading the #qantas magazine I discovered that when we refer to Devonshire tea, it is a reference to the placement of the jam on TOP of the cream. Who knew???! I don't eat cream so I just opt for jam when I have my Mum's ridiculously good scones but how do you do yours? Jam before cream (Cornish) or Cream before jam (Devonshire)? P.S. Actually I like Mum's cheese scones best!!
Today I am headed off to the US for my first board meeting of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals. I don't usually eat bread, but when I travel overseas in the morning, I have a little ritual of having Vegemite on raisin toast for breakfast. The first time I heard of it, it sounded awful but I gave it a try and I love it! Have you tried it? Do you have a ritual for special occasions?
Sometimes if you are patient, even when it seems like you won't get anywhere, something beautiful will grow. Last year we decided to grow fruit and veges as well as herbs. Well, on a balcony that is challenging. Passionfruit is our most fruit so it was first on the list. Keeping it watered enough with very little rain (and no outside tap!) and protecting it from the wind has been quite a challenge. Well spring has sprung here and we have our first two passionflowers! We are very excited! Sometimes it's the small things that matter. Actually, it's always the small things.
With the long weekend, we've taken some time to escape to cooler climate and explore Melbourne. Yesterday we discovered Carlton Gardens, a world heritage listed garden in the middle of the city. Irises are an absolute favourite. Getting into fresh air, green space and natural beauty is important for all of us, especially if you have been having a stressful or busy time. Literally, you need to take time to stop and smell the flowers...
"If you do not plan to make time for relationships, the tyranny of the urgent will always win....." I was reading a Facebook post for a webinar about how entrepreneurs are now measuring success by NOT working weekends, taking holidays and spending time with their families (oh, and having naps - which I am very good at on the weekend...) One of the comments read as follows "As a wife, married to an attorney, who was married to his law practice for years and years, I can attest to the quality of life issues that result. And now, at almost 73, he is having difficulty shutting things down to retire. I feel like I have been waiting for him our entire married lives. I say this because I love him and wanted to have time with him. And we all know that health issues often cloud the so called "Golden Years." If you do not plan to make time for relationships, the tyranny of the urgent will always win. Don't get to the end of your life and realize you neglected the things that truly matter. If there are strategies for making the quality of life better, why not explore them?" One of the common causes for relationship breakdown we see is people who were 'married to their careers or business' and the other spouse felt neglected and like a single parent. Plan and take time for your relationships, be they with your spouse, children, family or friends.