Dear Ruhl Family Law Centre, I’m going to visit a lawyer to discuss separation, but I’m worried about how much it will cost. Any tips?

Separation can be hard enough; it does not need to be costly too. There are a few things you can do to make the process run more smoothly, which will help in keeping your legal costs low:

Be prepared – If you can, go to your first appointment with a list of questions for your lawyer and any relevant documents. For a handy checklist that sets out what to bring, visit our website

Do your homework – If your lawyer asks you to provide copies of certain documents to be reviewed, try and get those documents to them as soon as possible so that no delays are caused.

Be realistic – Your lawyer can assist you with any legal issues you have, however, keep in mind that you should try and work out any issues between yourself and your former partner first. This will save costs. Be realistic about what types of issues really need a lawyer’s involvement, e.g. don’t involve your lawyer in a dispute about a pair of socks or a second-hand toaster!

Try not to lose focus on the big picture – Engage an experienced lawyer and you won’t have to stress about this as they will guide you through the whole process.




Dear Melanie, what can I do at home to help my child’s speech and communication?

At home, it’s really all about input. One really nice strategy is to allocate 15 to 20 minutes of playtime each day where you focus on modelling language; no questions, no rules, just lots of talk about what you are doing, what your child is doing, wondering out loud what might happen next, etc.

Books are also a great tool. It’s worthwhile using book time to talk about what you have read or what you can see on the page; there is so much more language to be modelled than just the words written by the author. You can talk about how characters are feeling, what might happen next or something similar that you or your child have experienced.

Try to avoid correcting your child, and model the correct word or sentence for them instead. It’s a slight difference, but the idea isn’t to tell them that they said it wrong or to expect a correction, just provide a correct model over the top of the word they found tricky.

If your child is still struggling with their communication, it is worthwhile seeing a speech pathologist for more specific activities.




Dear Blomberg Dental, when should my son have his full set of adult teeth?

Every child is different in terms of when they achieve certain milestones, and their teeth are no exception. Most often the lower front baby teeth will become loose first, and this usually occurs around six years of age. However, any time from four and a half to seven and a half years old is not abnormal. The age when most children will have lost all of their baby teeth by is about 12 to 14 years of age.

It is essential to emphasise to kids that their adult teeth are the last set of natural teeth they will have and so it is important to look after them. With young teenagers, this advice may well fall on deaf ears. Therefore, parents modelling excellent oral hygiene habits and healthy (low sugar) eating habits will have the best chance of passing these behaviours on to their kids.