Conduct to Enhance Your Chances of a Successful Court Outcome in Parenting Matters

In a speech delivered at a Family Law seminar, Federal Magistrate Keith Slack (late) set out the Judges' expectations of parties conducting their matters through the Courts and in particular, what conduct he views as enhancing your chances of a better outcome in parenting matters.

While acknowledging that high conflict family disputes may generate conduct that the parties involved would never otherwise engage in, Federal Magistrate Slack (late) was clear on the behaviour he deemed may generate better outcomes.

Federal Magistrate Slack (late) advised that parents achieve better outcomes in Family Law litigation when (even if the other party does not) they can: 

  • demonstrate by their actions that they can be child focused;
  • make decisions based around their child's needs rather than their own;
  • rise above the conflict between the parties;
  • remain calm and centred;
  • demonstrate stability in their personal circumstances and parenting decisions;
  • provide a safe, secure and stable environment for their children;
  • be honest in their dealings with the Court and others;
  • demonstrate generosity of spirit and flexibility;
  • develop a child-focussed parenting plan; and 
  • demonstrate an understanding of the position of others.

This view of a Judge whose career is to hear and determine Family Law disputes, provides unambiguous guidelines as to what a Judge expects of you during the conduct of your matter. 

In effect, Federal Magistrate Slack (late) simply stated that, as a party to litigation, you must consider how your conduct will be viewed and judged in Court and you must ask yourself the following question:

"Do I want to be seen as doing the best I can for my children, by the Judge who will determine the outcome of my matter?"

This is what the Judge will be looking for in your Hearing.


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