Ted Chan addresses high-conflict family law disputes at the Asian Academy of Family Therapy Conference 2023
Ted Chan, who regularly practices in family law, participated as a speaker at the 8th Annual Conference of the Asian Academy of Family Therapy held from 27 to 29 October 2023. Ted Chan, along with his co-presenters Mr. Honic Ip, also a Barrister, and Mr. Christopher Tang, a Senior Social Worker, delivered a presentation on 28 October 2023 that addressed the critical issue of high-conflict disputes in family law.
The conference, organized by the Asian Academy of Family Therapy, attracted a diverse audience of mental health professionals, therapists, social workers, legal professionals and academics from Hong Kong and overseas, who are interested in exploring innovative approaches to family issues.
The presentation began with a review of the protracted litigations seen in 4 high-conflict family law cases in Hong Kong. These cases often result in the unfortunate situation where access to a parent is disrupted or even suspended due to chronic litigation, with significant consequences for all parties involved, especially the children.
Ted Chan, drawing upon his experience in the field, introduced the concept of therapeutic justice. He explored the manner in which the family court works is different from other civil courts, and also the importance of not only resolving disputes but also considering the emotional well-being of the children and parents affected by these conflicts during the divorce proceedings.
One of the key highlights of Ted Chan’s presentation was his discussion on the delicate issue of how the family court deals with the views of the children in family law proceedings. He underscored that currently, the court adopts an issue-based approach in that the children’s views on a particular issue would be taken into consideration. However, there is much to be explored if the children’s “voice” about the state of their parents’ affairs and their relationship could be deployed, especially for the purpose of helping the parents reflect on their litigation behaviour.
The audience at the conference responded positively to the presenters’ insights and practical examples in overseas on addressing high-conflict family law disputes.
Ted has a broad civil and criminal practice. He has appeared in the High Court, the District Court (including the Family Court) and the Magistrates’ Court (including the Juvenile Court). He is also a CEDR accredited mediator and has been involved in mediations of a wide variety of disputes, such as matrimonial, nuisance, building management, contract, etc. In the field of family law, Ted regularly advises on and handles matrimonial and family cases, including ancillary relief, custody, relocation applications, parentage order, etc.
The interactive workshop was organized by the Asian Academy of Family Therapy (AAFT), which is a chartable and non-profit organization with a vision to promote family therapy research, training and practice in Asia. Funded by the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust, the AAFT is conducting several specialized projects, including the development of a treatment approach in working with children from divorced or divorcing families.
Find out more from Ted’s profile.
This article was first published on 8 November 2023.
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