Dear Ruhl Family Law Centre, I have a protection order in place, how does this affect our parenting arrangements?

A protection order will require one party (the respondent) to be of good behaviour and not commit any act of domestic violence against the other (the aggrieved). The order may also include other conditions that, for example, prevent one person from approaching the other in public, attending their residence or workplace, contacting them, or asking someone else to contact them.

These conditions must be considered when working out parenting arrangements. For example, changeovers may need to occur at a public venue.

Often a protection order includes exceptions to the conditions, for example, that one person can approach or contact the other, but only if they are doing so to spend time with the children and in accordance with an agreement or court order.

If parenting matters are before a court and a protection order (either a temporary or final order) is in existence, the judge must consider the existence of the order when making an order about the child’s living or care arrangements. The Judge must also consider the nature of the allegations and whether there have been any breaches of the Order.

The existence of a protection order does not necessarily exclude the children from living, spending time or communicating with a parent listed as the respondent, and it is only one of many matters to be considered.

If you, or anyone else you know, require assistance regarding a protection order or parenting matter, contact our team of experienced Solicitors on (07) 4772 7672.

Dear Blomberg Dental, I am pregnant, can this affect my teeth?

Just like the rest of your body, your mouth undergoes changes throughout your pregnancy. Most effects seen in your mouth are due to the hormonal changes associated with your pregnancy.

These can include:

•• Bleeding gums as a reaction to plaque.
•• Damage to the enamel of your teeth (called enamel erosion) from reflux or vomiting.
•• Reduced saliva and a dry mouth.
•• An increased risk of developing tooth decay due to changes in your diet or sugar cravings.

Research has shown that the health of a mum’s mouth before, during and after pregnancy has a direct effect on their child’s risk for developing gum disease and tooth decay in the future, and active gum disease in an expecting mother may even lead to premature, underweight births.

A visit to your dentist before, during and after pregnancy will help you protect your teeth and gums, and your dentist can give recommendations to help keep your mouth healthy.

Dear Melanie, my child is struggling with literacy and confidence; can you help?

Speech pathologists can quite often help with literacy. One of the key skills that kids with literacy difficulties often struggle with is called phonemic awareness. This is essentially the ability to identify sounds in words and move sounds around in words and decoding is the ‘sounding out’ of words.

Speech pathologists can help teach kids how to decode words, and how to break them up for spelling, for example, fish is f-i-sh. Good reading instruction gradually teaches children more complex patterns and rules so even tricky words can be sounded out, for example, “tion” says “shen”.

It’s often worth getting your child’s language skills assessed too, as there is a strong relationship between language delay and literacy difficulties.