Have you ever been curious about at which point kids are old enough to make the decision as to where they want to live, or the role mediation plays in blended family issues? Or just unsure as to where to start when it comes to seeking legal advice?
We’ll answer all of these questions and more in this chat with Benjamin Bryant, accredited Australian family lawyer, persuasive advocate and co-host of The Family Matters Show podcast. Ben’s clear, evidence-based and practical approach makes it easy to distil some of these complex issues.
Benjamin Bryant: I find that my most significant role every day is to manage people’s expectations. If you just want a lawyer to go for the jugular, you are there for the wrong reasons. If you get a lawyer that says, “You’re absolutely entitled to this” or, “She can’t do that” or, “No way are you letting him do that” or whatever, you’re in the wrong place. What we’re designed to do, what our role is to help you [00:00:30] make informed decisions.
Laura Jenkins: In The Blend is a podcast series that helps parents navigate life within a blended family. Join me as I speak with experts and guests to get practical advice on how to have a harmonious blended family life. This series dives deep into the unique dynamics, logistics and challenges of raising a blended family. From new partners to juggling mixed finances, we will help guide you through it.
[00:01:00] In today’s episode, we are getting into the legal stuff and tackling some of the topics that might keep you up at night when it comes to divorce, separation, child custody, and more. As it relates to blended families, family law related issues can often be a really emotional time for a blended family. And I know at times in my own circumstance over the years we have wondered if it’s worth engaging lawyers, in particular when there have been disagreements relating to kids’ visitation [00:01:30] schedules at either household. My guest today is Benjamin Bryant, an accredited family law specialist who helps clients in New South Wales, Australia through difficult family and relationship matters and he helps them make empowered, realistic decisions.
He’s also the co-host of The Family Matters Show, a podcast which helps people everywhere to better understand family law and they do it in a really interesting and accessible way. I personally have listened to many of the episodes and can tell you it provides [00:02:00] an absolute wealth of valuable information. Well, welcome Ben, and thank you so much for joining me today. Look, Family law is a … It’s a very big meaty topic as it relates to blended families and I’m conscious that we’re probably only going to really scratch the surface today in the time that we have together. But I’ve certainly got a few questions for you nonetheless. Let’s get into it.
Benjamin Bryant: Certainly. Scratch away.
Laura Jenkins: All right, so firstly, [00:02:30] no doubt when blended and step families form it can raise all sorts of unexpected disputes. I’d love to know what are some of the most common issues that people in blended families might typically be coming to you with for assistance?
Benjamin Bryant: Well, interestingly enough, Laura, the type of issues that people in blended families come to lawyers or family law lawyers are pretty similar to the same issues that are affecting non blended families in the sense of [00:03:00] parenting disputes, property disputes and things like wills and estate. But you’re right, with blended families comes different needs and different intentions, different things need to happen. The biggest one I think, in terms of what is on most people, the front of most people’s mind is the parenting arrangements for children. People, there’s still this idea out there that children belong to someone and if you’re not the biological parent [00:03:30] of a child, then you have no rights. What is actually true is that even biological parents do not have rights. Children have rights, children have a right and they’re entitled under the family law legislation to have a meaningful relationship with both their parents.
And I said the word parents. Section 60C in the Family Law Act clearly sets out what is the court considers to be in a child’s best interest. And it does start off with parents. That is the primary consideration [00:04:00] as well as the risk factors. But if you go down to the subsections, there’s subsection 3B, D, F, and M, which basically relate to other things, other relationships, the nature of relationship, the nature of risk with other persons as well. It’s absolutely important that people know that biology is one factor to consider, but it’s certainly not everything. With property, it gets a little bit crazier with blended families. Because ordinarily … Not ordinarily. [00:04:30] A necessity of a blended family is that there’s been a family essentially before. And with family normally comes assets. What the Family Law Act and what the blended family couples, separated couples and blended families were trying to do is trying to I guess assess what were the contributions of the parties throughout the relationship of the blended family’s spouses.
And in that assessment comes the question who had what at [00:05:00] the start? Okay? So what people are coming to us really about is they’re trying to quarantine what they had at the start and trying to keep this over here, which is very difficult. And that kind of leads into the third area that I spoke about as well, the wills and estate, or the future planning, and a common scenario is you have children with your partner, you separate, that’s not unusual, but then you may re-partner or re-marry and you have children of the relationship. [00:05:30] What people are coming to me for is saying, “Well, I have children or even adult children from a previous relationship and I have young children from my new relationship. I want to be fair, I want to make sure that I provide for them both.” Of course that is very tricky, especially when they’re asking me what’s fair.
But that is very tricky and it’s absolutely imperative that those people that are from blended families wanting to do estate planning, that they actually get legal advice. [00:06:00] We actually do a little podcast program, The Family Matters Show, Laura, and just a little plug, just yesterday I recorded episode 37, which was exactly on that issue, the wills and estate planning for blended families and separated blended families. I encourage your listeners to jump on our website and check that out. I’m not sure when this is recording, I’m not sure if it’ll be available, but anyway, hang around. It’s episode 37.
Laura Jenkins: Absolutely, absolutely. And we’ll make [00:06:30] sure we point to that in the show notes. Ben, I’d love to come back to the custody arrangements piece and I imagine as you said, this comes up all the time. You touched on children’s rights and I’m curious to know at what point are the kids able to make the decision themselves about where they want to live?
Benjamin Bryant: That is great question. Look, there’s nothing in the law, there’s nothing in the legislation which [00:07:00] says when children get to make a decision begrudgingly. Everyone thinks there is, it’ll be very easy if there was. But what the court is doing, and I’m certainly not suggesting by the way that everyone has to go to court, and I know lawyers get a bad rap, lawyers always talking about court. We’re trying to pull things apart, ripping out the fabric of society, trying to pull people in the system. We’re not, we’re absolutely not. But what my role is to is, well today is to educate. But ordinarily what I’m doing in my everyday life is [00:07:30] to manage people’s expectations. If you can’t reach an agreement with your ex, I manage your expectations by letting you know what the court would do, what the legislation says.
Going back to that Section 60CC, which is the most used section on the Family Law Act when it comes to parenting, that’s talking about what a court takes into account when considering what’s in a child’s best interest. A lot of people think courts, they’ve heard that [00:08:00] language before and they think the courts are just doing what they think is best for the kids. It’s not actually what the court or the judge is thinking, it’s a legislative criteria. And part of Section 60CC, one of the things that a court must take into account for every matter for every child is the views of the child. But how do you take the view of a toddler? How do you take the view of a primary school age compared to a 16 year old? It’s different. And I just mention [00:08:30] ages as an arbitrary thing.
It’s nothing to do with age either. Some nine year olds may be able to articulate better than 14 year olds. If a decision from a child or a view of a child expressed from a child is based beyond because dad’s got an Xbox or because the family cat is with mom or something like that, then that’s not good enough obviously. But if you have an old child that has strong views, then [00:09:00] it’s apparent, it is taken into account by the court. Absolutely. There is no age for it. But I think as a guideline, and I mentioned the word guideline, is that once you get to high school age, that the 12, the 13, your child’s voice starts carrying some weight. And it may not be, that doesn’t mean to say that when I say weight, that doesn’t mean to say, well what’s what they say goes.
What it means is you can start having a conversation with them, but [00:09:30] them being more engaged in the process, seeing what they want, seeing what works for them. A lot of parents talk about all sorts of different parenting arrangements, but some want 50/50 based on fairness. But if you have a look at what’s happening in the relationship, especially if you have your teenager, you’re not doing 50/50 parent, do you know what I mean? You’re lucky for one parent to be present because they’re always out of the house. Why do you think upon separation they want to spend all this time with you? You need to be really conscious I think from 12 and onwards [00:10:00] of their views. But certainly children don’t have, even from a physiological, physical, they don’t have the prefrontal cortex in their brain to make that decision.
And even though it’s great for parents to hear, “They want to stay with me” or, “What am I doing wrong? They don’t want to stay with me,” they shouldn’t have that responsibility. That’s not their job. Your job as parents essentially is to make decisions what you think is in the best interest and accordance again with Section [00:10:30] 60CC, it’s about balancing risk with a relationship. Children are entitled to have a relationship with both of their parents and also their loved ones, including spend time with … Sorry, stepparents, to the extent that it’s safe to do so. That’s really what it’s about. And in that when assessing the relationship does come the children’s views.
Laura Jenkins: Got it. If it was a scenario where the two parents, biological parents could not agree [00:11:00] on the whereabouts and the arrangement of the child or children, then the child’s views would be one aspect with heavier weighting as they get older as part of that decision?
Benjamin Bryant: That’s a very good summary.
Laura Jenkins: Fantastic. Excellent. And tell me about mediation. I’m interested to know whether if parents can’t agree on these sorts of things, whether mediation is something that they might consider before they come to a lawyer and are there any demands [00:11:30] on the other parent to attend mediation if one half wants them to go?
Benjamin Bryant: Yes, mediation is getting some more attention at the moment, Laura, and that’s essentially because the court has in September last year, has created a new court. They’ve combined, so the court used to be one court, then it became two courts and now it’s back to being one court and it’s called the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia. With the new court came a new set of rules and a new [00:12:00] focus on pre-action procedures is what they’re calling it today. Essentially what that means is before anyone fronts up at court, they have to invite the other party to mediation, or the court certainly expects parties to do mediation. Before September last year, that was just in respect to parenting. Now it’s also parenting and property. The court is saying before you come in this door, we’ve got to make sure that you ticked all these boxes to come in.
The relevant section if [00:12:30] anyone’s interested in the legislation is Section 60I for parenting matters. Section 60I says to parents, you cannot go to court unless you’ve tried to resolve the matter at a mediation. When I say mediation, that’s with this particular name, a registered family dispute resolution practitioner. If you’re doing mediation, don’t do it through a mutual friend, don’t do it maybe through a church, if you want it to be recognized at court anyway. It needs to be a registered family dispute resolution [00:13:00] practitioner. And you can find them easily enough. You type in family dispute resolution online or registered family dispute resolution practitioner, and there’s of course a register of people. You make sure you know what you are doing and who you’re doing it with. I must say, Laura, there are some exceptions. If there’s allegations or a history of family violence or there’s something yucky going on like child abuse or something like that, or if your matter’s super, duper urgent, someone’s off to Morocco or something like that, then the court does not expect you to do mediation.
[00:13:30] But otherwise it does. The mediation, I guess what COVID has also taught us, I must say Laura, is that you can do things online. When I’ve said before the exception with family violence, there is certainly no … Mediation is not just putting you in the garage and bringing down the roller door and saying, “Figure it out.” Mediation is essentially a setup of a safe, respectful [00:14:00] environment for parties to communicate. In mediation, no one is making a decision. You’re not persuading anyone except perhaps your ex. And no one can compel the other to do anything. You’re there voluntarily and you want to try and work it out. And sometimes we find, especially with COVID now, because there was not a pressure, but I guess a default position was it was face to face and before you could be in separate rooms, but of course then you’re just, you’re [00:14:30] still in the same vicinity, you’re just in separate rooms and some people feel really unsafe with that.
What COVID and the technology has taught us is that we can do everything by video, just exactly what we’re doing now. And quite a lot of times, even with a history of family violence or if there’s something yucky going on, there can be some merit in participating in mediation. It may be that you can’t resolve everything, but you can at least discuss the school issue or you maybe can’t agree in your heart of hearts, you can’t agree [00:15:00] for the father to have time or something like that. But at least what it does is it gives you the opportunities to safely and respectfully communicate your reasons to them, and so they have a pathway. They say, “All right, well I’ve got to do this drug test” or, “I’ve got to see this counselor, I’ve got to do this anger management course,” or, “I’ve got to move to make sure that my house is appropriate for the age of our children before I get whatever.”
There could be a plan set up. Mediation, people should do it [00:15:30] first of all when they want to, when there’s a common intention. That is we want to get together and find out the parenting arrangements for our children that we think is in their best interest. We want to get together to find out what we’re going to do with the house, how we’re going to split the super, what we’re going to do with the poor dog, those types of things. Mediation is a really great vehicle for that. There is a bit of a focus or [00:16:00] a stigma in respect to who is inviting who to mediation and who is refusing who to mediation or something like that. In my experience, honestly, no one’s looking at that. If you get to the court, if you come to see a lawyer and you’re going to court, you’re kind of at the pointier end at that stage.
But no one’s looking to see or who did what at the mediation, who issued it, who invited who. It just is what it is. And a Section 60I certificate, get this, actually doesn’t belong to one [00:16:30] party, it belongs to both of the parties. It’s entirely possible, for example, dad to invite mom to mediation and mom say no, and then dad doesn’t do anything. But then three months later mom says, “Well, I want to go to court now.” She can use that certificate even though she refused. There’s no ownership in the section 60I. All it is a record of the parties being invited, whether they participated, whether there was a result or there’s not. [00:17:00] In terms of your listeners, Laura, with blended families, mediation is not just for parents. Mediation is, as I said, in terms of trying to move the metaphor in a legal sense, is the precursor to court.
Not only parents can go to court, as we know. Stepparents, grandparents or anyone else who has a genuine concern for the care [00:17:30] welfare and development of a child, I think that’s Section 65C, can make an application to the court. What the court would expect is those parties to do mediation as well. It’s absolutely appropriate for stepparents or other people, not a parent, to attend a mediation as well. What the idea is discuss the issues and dispute and to see what issues we can resolve, what issues we need to work on or perhaps even [00:18:00] resolve it, tie it all up in a bow. There’s different outcomes to a mediation, there can be no outcome. There can be an informal agreement where parties just reach the agreement, they don’t see a lawyer, they don’t do anything with it except you start doing alternate weekends or you just sell the house and split it 50/50. That’s entirely possible.
Some people with parenting matters can do parenting plans. And again, don’t get confused by the word parenting. Anyone can do a parenting plan, [00:18:30] which is an informal, it’s a written agreement, but it’s informal still, that’s signed and dated by the parties and that’s a record of your agreement. Or you can upgrade it to consent orders, which is the same agreement, but essentially it’s locked in with the court, it’s sealed by the court and the court agrees that the parenting arrangements are in the children’s best interest or that the property arrangements are just and equitable.
Laura Jenkins: Got it. With the blended family piece [00:19:00] that you touched on and the elements of all of the this applying in the blended family context, I’m thinking of a scenario where a blended family relationship might break down. The couple who are the blended family couple, leave one another and then they might have had children together. Have their children then got rights to see their half brothers and sisters or step siblings, [00:19:30] or?
Benjamin Bryant: In short Laura, the answer is yes. Again, the Family Law Act, if you get it, bring up Section 60CC everyone. If you have a look, the first few sections would absolutely talk about children and their parents and parents and their children, and that’s frankly most matters. But if you keep reading down Section 60CC, it does take into a raft and it goes to, I think they’ve changed it, but I think it goes to subsection M. A to M, all the different things that a court [00:20:00] takes into consideration when determining what’s in a child’s best interest. When I’m talking about a child, I’m talking about a subject child. The court doesn’t … Awful word I know, but the court doesn’t have jurisdiction or the power to make orders about children not parties to the dispute. What they can do is only make orders in respect to the children that are part of the dispute.
What the court is doing in Section 60CC is going through A to M of subsection three to see [00:20:30] what are the factors that are going to affect this child? Is the child have any cultural background or Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander? Takes into account the lifestyle and maturity, all different aspects, the relationship with others and the relationship with grandparents. Family violence of course. Is someone paying child support? The views of children, has a whole list of things. A to M, have a read of it. It’s a real hoot. [00:21:00] Yes. And part of that, as I said Laura, is the relationship with other people and what is the likely impact of what perhaps one of the parents or one of the parties, the orders that they’re seeking, what is the likely impact that that would have on a child? For example, if a child is really close to their half or step sibling, what does that look like in the future?
But one of the implications with blended families, of course, [00:21:30] which is sad but true, is that the good thing is that this child or the children have the benefit of many people in their lives. Their lives are enriched by being exposed to different people, different styles of parenting, different things. They get a benefit of different things. One of the negatives is that there’s many people in this child’s life or children’s lives exposing them to lots of different things. And [00:22:00] that’s the difficulty in managing. It’s difficult for a court to make a decision what’s in the child’s best interests when there’s two people fighting over a child. It is even more difficult when you enter a third party or a fourth party who are jumping up and down wanting their rights, their entitlements, but you still only have one child or you still only have the same amount of children.
And it’s difficult. When you have situations like grandparents, [00:22:30] and if the grandparents have a pretty good relationship with their own child, so the parent of the subject child, generally speaking, unless there’s extenuating circumstances, the court can say, “Well, you can have your time when your son has their time or your daughter has their time,” so you can kind of combine it or do something along those lines. But when you have parents at loggerheads, in conflict, where that’s [00:23:00] not easy to do it’s hard because the child has to go to school and the child. When you get to a teenage kid, they don’t want to spend time with anyone. It’s difficult.
And that’s one of the implications specifically for blended families. And it’s not to say that you have any lesser rights or anything like that, I’m certainly not saying that, but you have to be mindful of what is actually practical. [00:23:30] The court is there to assess and look, even if you’re not at court, what the parties at the mediation or at the kitchen table, what they need to assess is what is best for the children, not what is best for the parents or for the adults in their lives, what is best for the children? And that’s difficult when you’ve got a lot of needs and expectations.
Laura Jenkins: Absolutely. And I really identify with the comments you made there [00:24:00] around people in or children in a blended family having lots of people who love them. And that’s something we often say in our own situation is you’re so lucky. You’ve got all these people who want a piece of you. And I certainly view that as one of the positives, but as you say, in legal circumstances, it creates a whole lot of negatives as well.
Benjamin Bryant: And I think it is true that in all relationships, and I was just saying this to a client yesterday, what people [00:24:30] revel in during the relationship or what people say is so important in the relationship, and it could even be taboos in between couples, things that no one else knows. That after separation can be the exact thing that pulls it all apart. That can be weaponized and used against people and the part, so the things that you take joy in the relationship are the things that can sting you on the other side. And this is one of those examples, and perhaps not the best example, [00:25:00] but as I said, you were loved by so many people, which is great. But on the other side, when the wheels have fallen off, there’s only so many pieces of this pie. Do you know what I mean? And it’s difficult, but that is certainly one of the implications of a blended family.
Laura Jenkins: Ben, when should people approach you and how do they go about shopping around for a family lawyer, and a blended family specialist, as well?
Benjamin Bryant: Yes. I always [00:25:30] hate the word shopping around with lawyers. It cringes me. But look, I get it all the time. I think what I would say is, Laura, is family law is discretionary. It is a care jurisdiction. It is not black and white. It is not transactional. We are not buying a home and paying stamp duty. It is very discretionary. And because of that, if someone is shopping around, they’re shopping around because they’re looking for a family [00:26:00] law specialist, they’re looking for someone that has a good reputation and a good … You get a sense from them. If you meet them or chat to them on the phone, there’s a rapport. And also I think someone, Laura, I think it’s important to say, and I mentioned this before, is that I find that my most significant role every day is to manage people’s [00:26:30] expectations.
If you just want a lawyer to go for the jugular, you are there for the wrong reasons. If you get a lawyer that says, “You’re absolutely entitled to this,” or, “She can’t do that,” or, “No way are you letting him do that” or whatever, you’re in the wrong place. You’re in the wrong place. What we’re designed to do, what our role is, is to help you make informed decisions. The lawyers do not make the decisions. [00:27:00] The lawyers advise you, they give you the positives and the negatives. And even if you did only end up with 30% of the asset pool, or you didn’t end up with 50/50 of the parenting, which is what you wanted at court or otherwise, then when a judge hands that down that decision, that is not the first time you heard it. Your role of a lawyer is to manage your expectations.
We give you the range. I let you know what social science says according [00:27:30] to the age of your children, what is going to be best for them. I tell them on my own experience, I let them know the case law, I talk to them about the legislation, but ultimately they make a decision. The same with property. I don’t give financial advice, I don’t know what’s right for them. I don’t know what the property market’s going to do. I don’t know if they should retain their super, but what I’m there to do is give them the alternative. If all they want to do is retain their super, then I’m there to show them the alternatives. That’s really what [00:28:00] the role is about. When we’re lawyer shopping, I just hope people aren’t going, you ring up, “How much does it cost to get a divorce?”
Do you know what I mean? Or, “What’s it going to take for me to get my kids back?” Or, “I only want 50/50? That’s pretty simple. I’m pretty amicable with the [inaudible 00:28:19]. How much is that going to cost?” It doesn’t work like that. And it can’t. If you’re shopping around, don’t shop around for costs. Check out people’s websites, check out [00:28:30] things like Doyle’s Guide for Lawyers, the Law Society, even local newspapers, see what the lawyers are doing in the community. Of course, talk to friends and family about their experiences and look for lawyers with great podcasts, I reckon, Laura.
Laura Jenkins: Absolutely. Are there any alternatives to legal support? Any agencies or any other resources that you could recommend that might provide [00:29:00] either free or low cost support in the case where someone is not in a financial position to engage a lawyer?
Benjamin Bryant: Certainly. And I guess I want to be clear, Laura, from the outset, I’m not going to make recommendations for alternatives. I’m going to make recommendations for additions because I think nothing replaces legal advice. There is a difference between legal advice and legal representation. Legal advice you can get, we can get it free. There’s legal [00:29:30] aid, there’s community legal centers, there’s different things available, but a lot of private practitioners also do free. And even if they say the first appointment’s 300 bucks, if they get your history of the matter, well, this is certainly what we do, if we get the history of your matter and it’s clearly just not appropriate for us to charge you the 330 or whatever we charge, that’s not going to happen. And just because you’re going to a lawyer does not mean to say you’re going to court again. Lawyers get a bad rap and perhaps in some circumstances fair [00:30:00] enough, but we are not here to drag people to court.
What we are trying to do is to keep people out of court. But of course the court is there for a reason. If you are in a family violent situation or if there is child abuse or something, it’s likely that you’ll end up in court. If you are at 50/50, and your spouse is at 80/20 or you get nothing perhaps, you’re likely to end up in court and the court is there for a good reason. But certainly there [00:30:30] are different ways to get information. And again, I’ll mention my podcast, it’s not even just my podcast, Laura, but what I’ll talk about is what we do as a firm is we have this intention to get information out there. And you’re right, there’s a lot of people that can’t afford it or it’s too scary to go to a lawyer or it’s too official. Because sometimes when people in my office, I’m the first person they’re telling. I’m the one that they’re unloading to for the very first time.
[00:31:00] And what the idea of our website and our podcast is to get as much information out there that people can access just like they are right now in the privacy of their own headphones, whilst they’re ironing, whilst they’re doing whatever they’re doing, to get the information to make an informed decision. There’s lots of information about this. Like your podcast and my podcast, there’s heaps of different websites available. [00:31:30] I mentioned the new court before, the combining of the old court into the new court, the Federal Circuit Family Court of Australia. It helpfully has an abbreviated court website, which is FCFCOA.gov.au. With this new revamp, it actually has heaps of information about separation, also in the early stages, referrals to mediations and information about mediations. If you are one of the few that end up in [00:32:00] the court system, heaps of information and publication and resources about what a family report is, what a child impact report is, what an independent children’s lawyer is, what is the judge thinking, all these different things that are available.
I’d put everyone to … Well, I use Legal Aid New South Wales. Obviously your podcast can reach the world, so the relevant legal aid website, certainly New South Wales has excellent resources. For people starting off, [00:32:30] wondering about separation, wondering what programs are out there for them, what mediators that are available, and just commonly asked questions. Great resources are Interrelate or Family Relationship Center. I think that’s a first port of call for a lot of people, but also unfortunately Laura, there’s people that don’t have the time to peruse or browse websites and there’s matters that are more critical. [00:33:00] If that is the case, of course, I refer your listeners to 1-800-RESPECT hotline, The Lifeline hotline, or indeed, if it’s an emergency, 000.
Laura Jenkins: Very good. Thank you so much for joining us. I have found that extremely valuable myself, as I’m sure our listeners will. And yeah, hopefully there’s a few tips and tricks in there that will help them navigate some of the common moments with a little bit less stress and anxiety. And Ben, I feel like we could easily have a part two of this conversation, [00:33:30] so-
Benjamin Bryant: I’m all for it.
Laura Jenkins: Yeah. I think we might have to reconvene again to dig into some of this a bit deeper, but where can listeners go to connect with you and find out more about the support that you provide and access all of the wonderful content that you’re putting out into the world?
Benjamin Bryant: Well Laura, we’re of course on all the socials you can think of. But the main point of reference I think is probably our website. Bryant McKinnon is our firm, Bryant McKinnon Lawyers. The website of course is BryantMckinnon.com.au. If you are [00:34:00] the first time user or you haven’t been to the page for a while, you don’t need to do anything. You just log on and then boom, a little reminder will come up, a little note will come up about the podcast and give you a link straight there. That’s probably where most about information is held. We also have a lot of information about how to access the court and Interrelate, the Family Relationship Center and the different hotlines that I just mentioned there, they’re on our website as well. But I guess a lot of information is put [00:34:30] through our podcast.
And again, going with your intention, Laura, it’s just to get information out there and for me to try and take away the stigma that the lawyers are the bad guys. We’re not. We have the information, it’s here, we are trying to make it freely available for listeners to listen anonymously and in their own time. And we’ve tried to put our mind to what people would get most, where the information is. If you go into court, we have one about that. If you are, as [00:35:00] I said, wills and estate for blended families, we just wrapped that up yesterday. Want to know what a judge is thinking? We’ve actually interviewed two retired judges. Do you have a property settlement? There’s a business valuation, we’ve just interviewed a forensic accountant.
Coming up next time, you want to know about substance abuse and family law and what does it mean if you have pot or cocaine or ice in your system? We’re going to find out with Professor Ogden. There’s all different … What is an ICL? We’ve done information with ICL. What role does [00:35:30] legal aid play? You had legal aid on here. We’ve had the Relationships Australia New South Wales CEO speak about if we’re separating, should I stay or should I go? That’s just a few. There’s heaps of information. BryantMckinnon.com.au, Laura.
Laura Jenkins: Amazing. Thank you so much, Ben. Absolutely love what you’re doing. And once again, thank you so much for your time today.
Benjamin Bryant: Absolute pleasure. See you for part two.
Laura Jenkins: See you then. Thank for listening to In The Blend podcast. The show notes for this [00:36:00] episode are available at InTheBlend.com.au. If you like what you heard, be sure to subscribe and please rate and review in your podcasting app. You can also follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.