Assessing Unacceptable Risks in Parenting Matters – Q&A with Kate Rafton

Kate Rafton

Ahead of her presentation at the Family Law Parenting: Unacceptable Risks and Violence webinar next month, Kate Rafton, Principal at Rafton Family Lawyers, joined us to discuss key questions regarding the essential considerations when assessing unacceptable risks in parenting matters.


Why is it important to be presenting on this topic now?

Unacceptable risk is a primary consideration in family law litigation, especially in interim parenting matters. Recent statistics show that around 80% of matters before the FCFCOA have reported instances of family violence, abuse or neglect. It is important that practitioners in this area understand the impact of unacceptable risk and violence, address these factors in their material filed and properly advise their clients on what to expect.


What has been the approach taken by the FCFCOA towards dealing with risks in parenting matters?

The FCFCOA takes issues of risk very seriously and has developed guidelines for practitioners and parties, incorporated changes in the central practice direction of key considerations in this area and introduced specialist court lists to deal with these matters.


What key message would you like participants to take away from your presentation?

The goal is to provide a thorough overview of risk and violence in parenting matters, key considerations for practitioners in this area and discuss some recent cases, and to empower those working in this field to handle matters with confidence, leading to better outcomes for all parties.

To hear more from Kate at her upcoming webinar, click here.


Kate Rafton has focused on the field of family law since her admission as a solicitor and has worked for law firms in both Penrith and Parramatta over her 20 year career. Before establishing her own practice in 2007, Kate was a Partner with a well-known family law firm in the region and gained significant experience dealing with the full range of family-law issues. In 2007 Kate became a NSW Law Society accredited specialist in family law. In 2009 she also became an accredited specialist in children’s law. Kate has extensive experience in complex family law matters both at first instance and appellate court hearings. She has completed AIFLAM training and is an accredited mediator and arbitrator. Kate was also a founding member of the Western Sydney Collaborative Lawyers group. Rafton Family Lawyers is now one of the largest specialised family law firms in Western Sydney with a reputation for the provision of expert legal services in family law. The firm has been named in Doyle’s guide for mediation services and under the rising star category for wills and estates in recent years. In addition to her legal qualifications, Kate also has a nursing degree, a Masters in Critical Care and Trauma and a background in health management. Throughout her legal career she has maintained a strong association with the Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health Service and her experience dealing with patients in crisis gives her a deeper insight into dealing with the trauma and emotion of family breakdown. Connect with Kate via LinkedIn.