Family Law Parenting: Unacceptable Risks and Violence – Q&A with Susan Warda

Susan Warda

Ahead of the Family Law Parenting: Unacceptable Risks and Violence webinar next month, Susan Warda, Partner at Mills Oakley and chair for the program, joined us to discuss the importance of correctly considering unacceptable risks and violence in parenting cases.


Why is the content of this seminar crucial to practitioners now?

The significance lies in the topic’s direct relevance to the multitude of cases presented before the court, as evident from the Court’s own case management. Following the establishment of the “Federal Circuit Court Family Court” in September, the court’s primary objective was to efficiently handle cases involving risk and violence. The implementation of initiatives like the Evatt List and the Lighthouse Project signifies the Court’s commitment to addressing such cases promptly.

The Court treats these cases with utmost seriousness, and the fact that a separate case management pathway has been created specifically for them sadly reflects the prevalence of violence and abuse in the cases that come before the Federal Circuit Court Family Court.


What should delegates expect to take away from this seminar?

I think it would be useful if delegates are left with some practical tips on how to:

  1. Work with clients in this field
  2. Ensure that they’re using the case management pathway appropriately to ensure that the matters progress as expeditiously as the court makes available.
  3. Developing a comprehensive understanding of the distinctive nature of these cases, recognizing their uniqueness and the necessity for specialised management approaches.


Are there any additional insights to consider?

It is crucial for attendees to recognize the Court’s heightened focus on the progression of family law matters involving abuse, family violence, or risk. Practitioners should diligently leverage all available resources to support their clients, ensuring thorough preparation for the court’s questionnaire and screening processes, which are conducted promptly upon filing the application.

Moreover, practitioners should familiarise themselves with the tracking process through the Evatt list, understanding its efficiency in moving cases swiftly. Being well-prepared for court events related to these cases is of utmost importance. These are the key considerations that come to mind at present.


To hear more from Susan at the upcoming CPD webinar, click here.


Susan Warda is team leader and partner in Mills Oakley Lawyer’s Sydney family law practice. Susan has particular expertise in family law matters that involve complex financial issues, including property settlements that incorporate family businesses, multiple assets and superannuation splitting. Susan is an accredited specialist in family law, and was named 2013 Woman Lawyer of the Year in Private Practice by the Women Lawyers Association of NSW. Susan also has extensive experience in resolving family law matters outside of the Court system. She is an experienced mediator and trained collaborative law practitioner, and is able to help clients resolve their disputes without having to be involved in costly and time-consuming litigation. As well as property and financial issues, Susan undertakes Hague Convention Applications, the separate representation of children and matters concerning parenting arrangements, child support matters and de facto relationship cases. She is the past Chair of the Austlaw Board, an association of independent law firms located throughout NSW, Victoria, Queensland and the ACT, a founding member of the Western Sydney Collaborative Family Lawyers network, a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD), a Director on the NSW Board of Variety- the Children’s Charity and a Director of Variety Australia. Susan has been recommended as a Leading Family Lawyer in the 2018 Doyle’s Guide and one of two lawyers in NSW who features in Best Lawyers. Connect with Kate via LinkedIn.