Lawyer, Ailsa Day
Ailsa Day has been servicing family law clients at Jones Mitchell Lawyers for over 8 years. Ailsa’s client care philosophy is, “Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” Ailsa shares below what she enjoys about Family Law and her goals for her clients.
What do you enjoy about Family Law?
I particularly enjoy the types of family law matters we handle at Jones Mitchell Lawyers. We are fortunate in that many of our cases are quite complex and cover a number of areas of law, for example; complex financial settlements involving companies and trusts. I also enjoy matters where we help people with urgent child recovery or parenting relocation matters, matters where the impact of a decision/resolution is at its highest.
I’m quite passionate about my work and being able to use my legal training to help people who find themselves in a complicated and unfamiliar situation.
The stresses of Christmas – buying gifts, planning Christmas lunch, finding places for relatives to stay. These are things that despite the best laid plans, are hard to get right.
For separated parents, the advent of Christmas decorations appearing for the first time can lead to its own peculiar set of anxieties. These parents carry a Christmas responsibility far more extreme than the dilemma of whether or not to serve a hot lunch, and that is organising how their children will spend the Christmas holiday period, between their household and that of the co-parent.
Cases involving an application by one parent to relocate a child’s residence to a new location, which would invariably impact on the child’s time with the other parent, are commonly referred to as ‘relocation cases’. Even though these cases are given a label for convenience, they are determined by courts in the same way as any other parenting case.
The overarching principle is that the court must have the child’s best interests as its paramount consideration. Any parenting order that the court makes should also be reasonably practicable.
If the court finds that the parents should have equal shared parental responsibility for the child, it is then obliged to consider whether the child spending equal, or substantial and significant, time between the parents is both in the child’s best interests and reasonably practicable. Clearly, considerations of both equal time and substantial and significant time are not available to a court dealing with a proposed relocation of the child where each of the parents remains steadfast in living in a different location.
Sometimes the decision to end a relationship is not a mutual one and carrying the burden of needing to say it’s over but not knowing how to say it can be difficult. Our experience as family lawyers has been that there are a myriad of ways to approach the topic taking into consideration the dynamics of the relationship and the personality and nature of your partner.
Having discussed it with our clients, some of the common things to consider might be:
1. Be as prepared as you can be – think about what questions might be asked and what plan moving forward you might have. What will the situation look like in one week or one month? Write down what you
Senior Associate, Damira Hidic
Jones Mitchell Lawyers are proud to welcome new Senior Associate, Damira Hidic, to our team. Damira is an Accredited Family Law Specialist and a Collaboratively Trained Family Lawyer, recommended by the peer-rated, international Doyles’ Guide for her expertise and abilities as a family and divorce lawyer on the Gold Coast.
Damira has shared below what she is looking forward to in joining the team at Jones Mitchell Lawyers, why she enjoys Family Law and how she likes to work with her Clients.
What are you looking forward to in joining the team at Jones Mitchell?
I’m looking forward to working with a great team at Jones Mitchell, given the amount of experience of the people within firm and the reputation the firm enjoys. I’m also looking forward to assisting the clients, existing and new, with their family law matters, getting to know them and providing them with the best service possible to meets their needs.
During divorce proceedings and property settlements many people go into ‘survival’ mode.
At Jones Mitchell Lawyers’ we consider a positive property settlement to be one where our client’s journey and outcome takes them from ‘’survive’’ mode to “thrive” mode.
Here are 4 tips to help you get back to “thrive” mode after your property settlement.
1. Choose the right family lawyer from the start
The relationship with a family lawyer is a unique one. It is a ‘relationship’, as this person will have information about you, your finances, and your family, and you will be relying on them to help you throughout a difficult period. You should therefore choose a lawyer who is a good fit for you, and who you feel you can work with, as a ‘team’, even during challenging phases of your separation. Don’t expect to find that person by looking up the phone book or following an advertisement. As family law can be complex, you will need a lawyer who is experienced in family law. A skilful family lawyer should be able to give you a good sense of the law, and different approaches to your particular case.
Social Media and Separation generally don’t mix well.
Jones Mitchell family lawyer, Joelene Seaton, advises, “While it may be tempting to vent emotions and frustrations on social media, people need to be aware that anything they post is considered a public document even if they have tight privacy settings on their account.
“Social media posts, text messages and emails are all admissible in Court and can be used as evidence of financial status, poor parenting, infidelity or even an excessive use of social media. A Family Court Judge may consider social media content relevant to their decision in a parenting or a property settlement matter.
“Under current legislation, Section 121 of the Family Law Act it also makes it an offence to publish (including by electronic means) any material that may identify a party or parties in proceedings before the Family Court or the Federal Circuit Court. There is also a mirror provision in Section 159 of the Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act in respect of domestic violence proceedings before the Magistrates Court” Ms Seaton said.
Jones Mitchell Lawyers recommends the following “Do’s and Don’ts” when separating:
Jones Mitchell Lawyers’ Belinda Paterson and Olivia Jennar-Bryant recently held a very successful workshop with Potts Lawyers.
Lawyers from both firms were able to exchange information relating to their area of expertise and gain a greater understanding of each other’s specialty areas of law as they can overlap in some cases.
Potts Lawyers presented to Jones Mitchell Lawyers on the process involved with domestic violence proceedings and the relevant considerations in making or defending an application for a domestic violence protection order.
Ruiqi Bai and Ailsa Day
Jones Mitchell’s Associate, Ailsa Day, has been with the firm since 2009. Initially as one of the first of about 50 students who have interned one day a week for a semester as part of Bond University’s Family Law Legal Practice Clinic.
Things have come full circle and Ailsa is now a supervisor of students from the Family Law Legal Practice Clinic at Jones Mitchell. For current intern, Ruiqi Bai, the family law legal practice clinic is a great opportunity to work with senior family lawyers.
“I have learnt so much from Ailsa Day (Jones Mitchell family law associate) and it’s been great putting into practice all I have learnt at Bond University and apply that knowledge to real people with real problems.
“It has been particularly useful for me to observe and learn from senior family lawyers how to communicate with clients who are managing their own emotional state and help them with their expectations.” Ruiqi said.
The true cost of divorce isn’t just measured in dollar figures but also the emotional toll and lost time for both parties.
Divorce proceedings that end up in a Court room increase the stress for separating couples and also increase the risk of an unfavourable outcome for one or both parties.
Outcomes in family law cases are discretionary and are therefore difficult to predict. Theoretically, ten different judges can determine the same case in ten different ways, without any of those decisions being ‘wrong’.
Separating couples have many options available to them to resolve their dispute outside the Court room through alternative dispute resolution, according to Jones Mitchell Lawyers Family Law Associate, Ailsa Day.