Updated: Dec 5, 2021
This month, Stefanie Costi (our Communications Manager & Family Lawyer) sat down with Professor Patrick Parkinson AM to glean his insights on how FamilyProperty can make family law matters easier and more accurate in preparing, modelling and documenting property and parenting outcomes.
Stefanie Costi: Why did you originally conceive FamilyProperty in the first place?
Professor Patrick Parkinson: When I originally dreamt up FamilyProperty, I had been practising as a legal practitioner and academic in family law for over 35 years.
What I noticed throughout my career is that family law desperately needed a plain-English entry point for clients that collected all of the information practitioners required to run a family law matter.
I created a template for a client intake questionnaire and then sought the assistance of Tim and Fiona Kirkman – who could put my idea into practice from a technological perspective.
I am proud to say that the idea for FamilyProperty has come a long way since it's original conceptualisation.
Stefanie Costi: How does FamilyProperty change the family law ecosystem?
Professor Patrick Parkinson: In my view, FamilyProperty has the capacity to change the practice of family law in three different ways.
The first is through its online client intake questionnaire. The easy-to-use document asks clients for all the information that a lawyer, mediator or Conciliation Conference Registrar might need to advise them about their claim (e.g. inheritance issues, pre-marriage property values) and help them to come to an agreement. The questionnaire is also written in plain English so that clients can fully understand what terms like “indirect contributions” and “future needs” mean.
The second is through its interactive Balance Sheet which allows parties to visually see what and how much their assets and liabilities are and what they agree and disagree on in terms of a division of assets. It also models for clients how different proposals might play out.
I find that this visual modelling helps clients fully understand the ramifications of various proposals and make more informed decisions.
The third is that FamilyProperty makes the creation of draft Consent Orders, Conciliation Conference documents and Balance Sheets easier and accurate.
My view is that the platform significantly saves clients’ money and time through automation and brings together pertinent information required to run a family law matter much more efficiently.
Professor Patrick Parkinson AM is the Professor of Law and former Dean of Law of the University of Queensland. He is also the visionary behind FamilyProperty.