In the midst of the initial emergence of COVID-19 in 2020, each regional Family Law Pathways Network from around the country collaborated to develop a webinar series open to all Family Law Pathways Network members nationally, so they could continue to provide high quality professional development and education during this time.

These regular webinars were highly successful and become a nationally based source of education, communication, discussion and community connection between professionals across the broader Australian family law sector.

Based on the success of these webinars, and overwhelming support from Family Law Pathways members, the national cohort has committed to continue to provide the National Webinar Series, now on a quarterly basis.

If you would like to know more about the National Webinar Series, please email 

Supporting children’s mental health during parental separation

The National Family Law Pathways Networks in collaboration with Emerging Minds 

Supporting children’s positive mental health during parental separation is a vital prevention and early intervention strategy for the wellbeing of children and families, now and into the future. Recent amendments to the Family Law Act provide Family Law Practitioners with a unique opportunity to uphold the voice of children in separating families and promote children’s social and emotional wellbeing and mental health.

This series is offered as a scaffolded learning opportunity, and we encourage engagement in the full series. Those who register will be emailed links to relevant resources at the end of each session.

14 June | 5 July | 26 July | 16 August 2023

For the full series details and registration link, you can download the flyer here.

Register for FREE:




You can view the webinars online

Session 1: Understanding child mental health in the context of parental separation, view online here.

Session 2: Understanding child mental health in the context of parental separation where there is FDV, view online here.

Session 3:  Engaging children in the context of parental separation, view online here.

Reimagining Just and Safe Outcomes for Child and Adult Victims of Domestic Violence in the Family Law System in Australia

Angela Lynch AM CEO Women’s Legal Service QLD

In light of the tragic murders of Hannah Clarke and her children, Women’s Legal Service Queensland called for a number of legal reforms, including the removal of the presumption of equal shared parental responsibility from the Family Law Act because of its danger to victims of violence and their children. Just recently, in response to these calls, the Honourable Graham Perrett MP, Member for Moreton, introduced a bill into federal parliament on these terms.

In this webinar, Angela speaks to these issues and explores more fully the reasons behind the need for the change with specific reference to her learnings and experience as a member of the QLD Domestic and Family Violence Death Review and Advisory Board.

Flipping the Script on the Most Difficult People During Difficult Times

Megan Hunter, High Conflict Institute

People with high conflict behaviour patterns are amongst the most difficult people to work with -especially in difficult times, like separation. Their behaviours and communications can be disruptive and cause a lot of stress. This webinar will explore the driving reasons behind high-conflict behaviours, and offer tips for implementing practical skills that assist to plan for structure and setting limits.

In this webinar, Megan Hunter introduces you to:

  • The neuroscience of high conflict personalities
  • The Cars Method for effectively handling high-conflict personalities
  • EAR Statements
  • The BIFF Response
  • Techniques for guiding problem solving under stress
  • How to set limits on high conflict behaviour without causing an escalation

The Views of Australian Judicial Officers on Domestic & Family Violence Perpetrator Interventions

Professor JaneMaree Maher

Monash Gender and Family Violence Prevention Centre

This presentation presents the findings of ANROWS 2020 Research Project ‘The views of Australian judicial officers on domestic and family violence perpetrator interventions: Key findings and future directions’ conducted by Professor JaneMaree Maher.

Professor Maher presents research regarding the examination of the use, influence and management of perpetrator interventions in sentencing of domestic and family violence offenders, based on an analysis of interviews conducted with 60 Judicial Officers from across all Australian State and Territory jurisdictions. This includes the discussion of identified constraints in the effective use of perpetrator interventions in judicial decision making including limited judicial access to information about which (if any) perpetrator interventions have been previously used with a perpetrator, a lack of knowledge among judicial officers about perpetrator program referral options and a general uncertainty over the role of the judicial officers in holding perpetrators to account, and recommendations regarding how these barriers may be overcome.

Child Inclusive & Developmentally Focused Dispute Resolution

Professor Jennifer McIntosh, Children Beyond Dispute

In this webinar, award winning researcher, Professor Jennifer McIntosh, describes the rationale for applying a developmental perspective to family law dispute resolution, and detail two evidence-based approaches to this work, covering infancy through to late adolescence. The principles of Child Inclusive Mediation and the Young Children in Divorce and Separation (YCIDS) program are briefly outlined, followed by Q & A and group discussion.

Parenting Capacity and Mental Health

Rose Cuff

This presentation by leading mental health expert Rose Cuff, Co-Ordinator of the Families Where a Parents has a Mental Illness program in Victoria, discusses parenting capacity and mental health within the broader family law sector.

The presentation explores concepts of parenting and capacity in the context of deepening our understanding about the challenges and strengths experienced by parents, their children and families who live with mental ill health. Discussion covers principles of engagement, validation and understanding what parents bring to the spaces in which we meet them, managing complexity and fostering resilient parent-child-family relationships.

Promoting the Best Outcomes for Children in Domestic and Family Violence Cases

David Mandel, Safe and Together Institute

Domestic Violence is one of the most challenging factors facing Family Courts in Australia. In this webinar, David Mandel, the creator of the Internationally recognised and implemented Safe & Together Model, will describe how a perpetrator pattern-based approach to domestic violence cases involving children can help with custody and access decisions.

The Safe & Together Model, which is used by child protection systems in Australia, North America and the United Kingdom, can help guide with evaluations and representation of children’s best interests, using an intersectional analysis that is designed to be flexible and relevant across diverse situations.

Linguistic & Cultural Barriers to Aboriginal Access to Justice

Ben Grimes, Charles Darwin University

Understand the differences between Aboriginal and Standard English Narrative Styles with Ben Grimes, a lawyer and linguist who specialises in communication issues in the legal system and cross-cultural legal education.

This webinar identifies known sources of miscommunication with speakers of Aboriginal languages and Aboriginal Englishes and discuss recent linguistic research that identifies significant differences between Standard English and Aboriginal narrative patterns in the context of legal issues. Discussions explore the implications this has in practice and provides strategies for identifying and minimising miscommunication based on differences in narrative patterns.

Understanding and Responding to Controlling and Escalated Behaviour in Children

Trent Savill, ComplexCare

This presentation by leading childhood development expert Trent Savill, supports professionals to better understand and respond to children and young people who engage in aggressive and controlling behaviours.

Discussion explores how developmental attachment impacts on the child’s capacity to trust and hand over control to parents and carers, and also looks at the important cognitive skills required to be able to comply with the expectations of others.

A range of strategies that support children to trust and feel safe with others, integrate the needs of others with their own, and to seek the attention of adults in a more adaptive fashion are provided, via the exploration of the following topics: the triune brain, trust vs control, cognitive skills, distorted templates for others, reading and responding to miscues, reducing power struggles and integrating needs.