Posted: 15 February 2011

Elissa Da Costa looks forward to our Family Business Consultation Event

When I first received my invitation to The Family Business I thought, 'What a great title', because it has so many different meanings.  For me, as a family law professional, the family business is my business, and I spend most of my time dealing with families in various stages of splitting up.  It always affects me when I find that the children are suffering as a result of their parents’ problems, particularly when there is a variety of ways to ameliorate that stress.

Real life experiences

I am somewhat apprehensive about my discussion paper having gone out in advance of the event because I know that whilst I have written about real life parental experiences, many readers and participants in the discussion will be shocked and in many cases will recoil at some of the things I report regarding what I know to be flaws in our family justice system.  I see the work of the discussion groups throughout the event to face these issues, however unpalatable, publicise the problems and brainstorm solutions.

Hope for the future

I am very excited about meeting other professionals who share my concerns about our children.  The song that begins ‘I believe that children are our future’ may be trite but is nevertheless accurate, and our children deserve a better investment in them from the adults in society. 

I believe that a collective honesty, a willingness to speak our minds without fear, in an atmosphere of calm and tranquillity and with a spirit of goodwill, together with appropriate doses of humour will ensure that we all enjoy a memorable couple of days.  I think this event will begin a process of greater debate and discussion far beyond the walls of Windsor Castle.  My hope is that the communal effort this week will pay huge dividends in what we can achieve for future generations of children. 

Elissa Da Costa is a Barrister, Mediator, and Collaborative Lawyer



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