Nadia Messiha

Care. Clarity. Confidence.

“Providing caring, professional and affordable legal advice to all clients in the areas of Family Law, Mediation, children and property settlement”

Nadia Messiha:

Building Better Lives After Divorce

The Quickest & Most Cost Effective Way to Settle Any Matter.

Nadia Messiha Short Bio

Nadia is the Principal of Hills Family Lawyers, whose motto is “Building Better Lives After Divorce.”

After working for a big law firm and realising that their focus were not aligned with her values, she decided to build her own firm where the main aim was to provide caring, professional and affordable legal advice to all their clients in the areas of Family Law, Mediation, Children and Property Settlements.

Nadia Messiha:

Your Free Gifts From Nadia Messiha

Nadia has very kindly offered you three invaluable gifts that you can download and keep.

1. Home Buyer’s Guide: 40 things you should check for that are NOT COVERED by your building report!
2. Home Seller’s Guide 60+ Tips for showcasing your home in the best way possible to attract more buyers!
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Nadia Messiha: Live Love By Design Complete Guest Profile

Nadia Messiha was born in the Sudan to Egyptian parents and was part of the Coptic Orthodox minority in Khartoum the capital.

The middle sibling to an older sister and younger brother she has learned early on the art of using negotiations to get to your end goal without conflict.

Nadia moved to Australia in 1999 when she was 14.

Nadia knew with certainty from the time she was 8 years old that she wanted to become a solicitor. She was involved in her school’s debating and acting classes. In fact, in her last year at her school in Sudan she was on the stage no less than 6 times presenting different segments at the end of school year presentation.

Nadia completed her B.A Law and International study degree at the University of Technology, Sydney focusing on helping the less fortunate in society by working at various community legal centres. Following the relationship breakdown of a very close family member and seeing its devastating effects of the children, Nadia knew that things could be done differently and since then has set out to focus solely on the area of Family law.

A decade later, Nadia is now the principal of Hills Family Lawyers and is using her expertise to guide men and women going through divorce to build a quick, strong bridge to the next chapter of their life without burning any bridges behind.

Nadia lives in the lovely hill’s shire of Sydney with her husband and two young boys.

0:14 hello and welcome to another edition of live love by design TV i’m karen Chaston
0:23 the founder of live life by design and your host and executive producer of this
0:28 groundbreaking TV show and today as always we have these amazing guests and
0:35 we have Nadia Messiha who actually is a family lawyer but more importantly Nadia
0:44 fits into our all about your relationships and all about your
0:49 expertise so let’s waste no more time and
0:53 introduce the beautiful Nadia how are you Nadia
0:57 Hi Karen I’m good thank you excellent so you are leaving the hills district of
1:04 Sydney and you are a family lawyer but you didn’t start out in the Hills just
1:09 you can see me now did you when you came into this beautiful realm that we all
1:14 like to call earth yes that’s absolutely right I was actually born in the Sudan
1:20 to Egyptian parents my grandparents all four of them move to the Sudan at this
1:27 stage the Sudan and Egypt were all part of the same almost same country didn’t need
1:31 a passport to go backwards and forwards yeah and they just relocated there was
1:36 it a major reason why was there a war or was they just unset in Egypt that made
1:41 the move to be honest I think it was going to greener pastures yeah and
1:49 actually that’s funny when you say greener pastures and I’m sure it’s a lot
1:53 of sand Is that right or is that me being ignorant No that is actually right we like to have fun here
2:08 so that’s beautiful so obviously growing up as an Egyptian in Sudan was there any
2:15 sort of prejudice or were you welcomed into the new community you know what Karen
2:23 we were very welcomed into the community when things were going great you know
2:28 like I said Sudan and Egypt they were almost treated as almost the same
2:32 country with no borders and then at one stage you know Egypt started saying all
2:39 right we’ve we’ve got our independence we have to close our borders now you
2:43 know you guys are still welcome but you need passports and it’s funny because
2:46 the Egyptian community then had a choice they were are they gonna become
2:50 Sudanese or Egyptians I guess until now they’re sort of stuck in the middle
2:55 where they’re not Sudanese enough for Saddam and when they go to Egypt the
3:00 accent and the dress and everything is different and so they’re not Egyptian
3:03 enough for Egypt yes they are sort of stuck in the middle Yes I can understand that yes so did
3:12 you find growing up because I believe you were the middle child of three
3:18 it’s not easy being the middle child now is it that’s so true teaches you a lot
3:26 yeah so let’s touch on that very briefly what
3:29 did that teach you so what it taught me was that you know I had to find a way
3:35 really you know whenever I wanted to get my way I have to find a way and I had to
3:40 be careful about it so it made me put a lot of thought into it so obviously how
3:45 I felt was I wasn’t the youngest child the spoiled boy and I wasn’t the eldest
3:52 child with the eldest privileges so for me to get my way I had to think about
3:57 things I had to negotiate ahead to mediate and I had to get in my way
4:01 even when resolving conflict with my two siblings without all-out war if I
4:07 could put it that way and I found that that’s really taught me a lot of things
4:11 even in my adult life and especially in family law yes I was going to say so do
4:17 you feel that was the grounding for you to actually want to become a family
4:21 lawyer to be honest it was actually when a relative of mine went through a really
4:27 really horrendous divorce and I could see the effects on the children and I
4:31 could see the effects on her and I was going through law school at that
4:35 time and I remember thinking that’s it I found my niche I want to be a family
4:39 lawyer because I don’t want to be this becoming the story of every person that
4:44 goes through a divorce you know okay so when did you come to Australia then so I
4:50 came in 1999 and how old were you then I was 14 years old
4:54 okay oh that’s interesting you’re actually younger than I thought you are I know
5:00 I think it’s all the you know doing kind of law for so long it’s not that you
5:07 look older I just see you as and I guess being a lawyer you certain have a a
5:13 certain status and and the way you hold yourself in and the way I guess you
5:18 use your words always make you seem older that’s more mature sure yeah but I
5:25 actually get that a lot I get that from a lot of people they
5:28 always thought oh you know I didn’t expect you to be that young which is good it’s just
5:34 especially when you’re a family lawyer but I I can remember going in and seeing a
5:38 friend in hospital like just last year and I looked at the doctor and I thought
5:43 does he look old enough to be a doctor like and that in itself and he was 28
5:49 but he looked like he was like 17 you know as he said it works against him at
5:55 times because people don’t value his advice as much that’s you know Karen
6:01 that’s you’ve hit the nail on the head yeah I sometimes do get that is special
6:06 and I get someone who’s you know in their 50s or 60s and they’re going
6:09 through divorce and they just look at me like I even know how to help me you know
6:13 being so young yeah but I think it’s sometimes experienced like you mentioned
6:18 you know it’s not so much as age as much as experience yes yeah so let’s get
6:24 into the Family Law side of it because I can understand why you were attracted to
6:29 it to help a friend and to see the grief that divorce separation causes not
6:36 only to the two people who were once in love but also to their children and it’s
6:43 not easy for anyone involved and I’m sure that a lot of people
6:49 go through a lot of soul-searching before they actually decide to take that next step
6:54 is that true that’s absolutely true Karen what I think what makes family
6:59 law interesting is that there is always two sides to the story and it’s
7:04 most difficult when the person who is left behind in a relationship I guess
7:09 who didn’t take that step suddenly finds themselves with a relationship that’s
7:13 ended a lot of actually statistics say 60% of men don’t see divorce coming you
7:20 know I have clients coming in telling me we’ve been separated under the same roof
7:24 we’ve been living in different rooms you know if the house we’re not even talking
7:27 for years but the moment I turned around and told him it’s over it was it
7:32 still came as a big shock hmm yeah have you ever read the book radical forgiveness no I
7:39 haven’t actually okay well I’ve read it just recently and
7:43 it’s actually very interesting in the fact that it actually comes radical
7:49 forgiveness comes more from a spiritual level as opposed to a forgiveness on our
7:56 sort of plane if the best way to put it in it it’s actually a great book and I
8:01 really do think everyone should read it because it actually helps you to see
8:06 that things are not done to you they’re done for you nice in a way to help you
8:15 grow on a soul level well it’s beautiful and it’s in it’s not an easy concept for
8:22 a lot of people to take on because I understand a lot of people do not
8:25 believe in spirit and God and you know the next life and and that that our soul
8:31 is eternal and but let’s just put that to the side for the moment because when
8:36 you start to understand that it’s done for me you start to do ask the questions
8:44 what am I meant to learn here yes how am I meant to grow yes and I think from
8:51 that perspective and correct me if I’m wrong that would help the negotiations
8:56 go a little bit more smoothly because you’d get rid of the blame and the
9:02 shame absolutely absolutely Karen that’s exactly right
9:06 it’s getting rid of the blame and shame exactly like you’ve put it it’s um I
9:11 actually think of it as almost going down to basics you know just remembering
9:16 that you like you said you once did you love this person you had a life with
9:19 them and if they want to leave and I’m I’m not saying this applies to every
9:25 single divorce you know that’s that would be completely wrong but in many
9:28 cases if we just think here is someone and if I can just respect the fact that
9:34 they now want to move on into the next chapter of their life and fortunately or
9:39 unfortunately I can’t be part of that chapter no let us not you know go at
9:46 each let us not turn this into a war let us not turn this into I’m gonna destroy
9:52 them because it’s either I’m in their life or I’m not there’s no middle ground
9:56 and let’s just think about the bigger picture you know and that’s why I think
10:01 helping people go through a divorce we need to step back from just the legals
10:06 yes into how people are feeling and how they can shift that mindset so that they
10:12 can move forward because that’s the only way they can move forward I totally
10:16 agree but it’s also about moving forward especially when you have children
10:21 knowing that I’m still gonna have to say this person absolutely absolutely
10:27 they may have been a horrible husband or a horrible wife or you know not the best
10:31 husband or not the best wife but there’s still a great parent you know and a lot
10:35 of people can be both they may not have been the best husband or wife but there
10:39 are fantastic parents and if we look at things from that way I think that will
10:44 help a lot especially if we’re going to be talking to them for the next you know
10:48 15 16 18 years exactly and especially when you think well your children are
10:53 going to grow up they’re going to get married do you really want to be at
10:57 their wedding actually still not talking to each other I was at a wedding
11:02 recently where that this that the son who got married was from divorced
11:08 parents and they couldn’t even sit together in the front to watch their son
11:13 get married which like I’ve been married for 40
11:16 years and I’ve been told you don’t understand what it’s like and I say do
11:19 you know what I have empathy I think I can put myself in your shoes and
11:24 understand what it would be like but I also understand that I still think my
11:29 husband and I would be friends even if we weren’t married
11:32 yes which which I know sounds a bit funny but I just feel that you did love
11:39 each other once so just for the sake of the children only when you were around
11:43 the children can’t you at least be nice to each other absolutely and you know
11:47 what Karen brought into mind a story that I remember reading about so someone
11:52 is talking to someone about holding a grudge and this person went well can you
11:56 hold this glass of water for me and they just left them holding that glass of
12:00 water for like two hours and by the end the guy is like I’m getting exhausted I
12:06 know it’s just a glass of water but I’m just getting exhausted of holding it and
12:09 the person responded well that’s exactly what you’re doing with your grudge it
12:13 may be small it may not that big but if you’ve been carrying it for a long time for
12:16 years yes imagine how much of your mental focus and energy it’s taking yes
12:23 be refusing to live your life yes and it’s holding you back from living to your
12:28 fullest you’re a silly part of that it is the other person even if isn’t even
12:33 aware what you’re carrying so you’re only hurting yourself you’re not hurting
12:38 someone else that’s absolutely right I just love this
12:41 okay so we hear about family lawyers trying to shift the focus more towards
12:48 mediation and collaborative law so what is it that you do differently to that or
12:53 is that what you do so that’s part of what I do but what I’ve discovered Karen
12:59 is that like I mentioned there’s no point in just focusing on the legal
13:03 aspect you know especially when it comes to family law we really got to look
13:07 beyond so if you think of it as circles you know so they’re the couple divorcing
13:12 and they obviously have their support network some of them may be even seeing
13:16 you know psychologists or psychiatrists to get through this period and then they
13:20 see the lawyers and no one’s talking to anyone so the lawyers are just telling
13:24 them what’s happening from the legal side and
13:27 all well and good to say all look let’s mediate him there’s this new thing
13:30 called collaborative law which is fantastic by the way but if the person’s
13:34 not in that mindset it’s just a waste of everyone’s time and energy if I could just go back a sec
13:40 because a lot of our viewers may not know what collaborative Law is I’m
13:43 pretty sure they know what mediation is so what what is collaborative law so
13:47 collaborative law is basically telling the parties come to the table be as open
13:51 and honest as possible try and settle the matter outside of court so
13:56 everything is already on the table and if we can’t settle none of what’s being
14:00 discussed in collaborative law can be used in court and in fact you can’t even
14:04 use the same lawyers that using yeah so it really gets people to try and focus
14:11 on settling I think it’s fantastic and it’s brilliant but I think it needs the
14:16 added angle of making sure everyone’s ready to settle before we even go down
14:21 that track for instance I had a matter if I can just quickly say that we were going to
14:26 mediation with the court on the Monday literally four days before that we
14:31 received the affidavit which is a statement of the version of the story
14:35 from the other side and it was full of the most hurtful things you can read you
14:41 know and I just remember reading it and I had to send it to my client because
14:44 she had to respond to it and I just remember thinking we’re not gonna settle
14:49 on Monday there’s no way we’re gonna settle after someone’s read what’s been
14:52 here because when she responds back she’s gonna be responding to these other
14:56 allegations all the hurt is gonna come welling up again and I kid you not we’ve
15:01 walked in on the Monday and we just sat there for maybe half an hour and we all
15:06 knew that we were gonna walk out again yes and I thought what a waste of
15:10 everyone’s time what a waste of a wonderful opportunity the court has
15:13 given us just just because things we’re not in the correct mindset yeah that’s
15:21 interesting because in in this book the radical forgiveness they actually say
15:26 that you should write three letters so the first letter where you put all that
15:32 hurt in you put it all in you you just go to town you bring up all of your
15:37 feelings tell anybody exactly what it gets you never send it of course
15:40 then you do another one where you can start you know putting as much in crying
15:46 if you need to getting rid of all those feelings but then starting to slowly see
15:51 the other side and then on the third letter you then because you’ve got rid
15:58 of all of that hurt in those first two letters you then start to come to a
16:03 place where you can actually see how it has been good for both of you and it is
16:09 also and how you know moving forward is you can come to radical forgiveness
16:16 which I think makes sense but you do write those letters you just don’t send
16:20 them then unfortunately sounds like your client didn’t get past that first letter which is such
16:27 a shame it is such a shame it is such a very expensive we know which does not
16:33 help with your wealth creation so the four pillars of live love by design
16:36 our viewers know all about you all about your relationships all about your
16:41 expertise and all about your wealth creation
16:44 and let’s face it divorce is a very costly and costly exercise most people
16:51 lose half their wealth if not more and normally you know they’re they’re into
16:56 their 30s or 40s are building and building and building and that in itself
17:01 brings in a lot of resentment absolutely absolutely you’re absolutely
17:06 right Karen but I guess that’s why and if I can put it this way that’s why
17:12 people need to be in the right mindset before they take that step because
17:16 otherwise it’s just money leaking you know if you think of it as water leaking
17:20 from a sive that’s exactly what it was good it’s gonna be like you all
17:25 these holes your emotions and the anger is creating holes in that pot that’s
17:30 getting the money leaking out but once you address all these issues then there
17:34 is money on the table that can be resolved you know and everyone just gets
17:39 the most out so they can start again it’s you know it just I get all
17:44 emotional every time I think about it because I also feel like when you’re
17:50 vulnerable people can take advantage of that you know
17:54 so if I’m gonna line my pockets because you’re vulnerable I’m not going to help
17:58 you you know why people need to be aware of where they are mentally so that
18:03 they’re vulnerability is not at their exposed to the open they can
18:07 address these issues and go in with a position of power when negotiating and
18:11 when they’re dealing with their family law I love that because you and and I
18:16 don’t want to generalize and I don’t want to bring in a probably a negative
18:21 belief that a lot of people have about lawyers that’s there you know there is
18:25 no reason for them to settle because the longer it goes on so but I feel with you
18:31 and I have had the pleasure of knowing you for a few years that you are more
18:36 let’s do the both for everyone concerned as opposed to just making more lawyers
18:42 rich and you guys bitter resentful and you know not in a financial secure
18:48 position that you could have been in if you had settled a couple years earlier is
18:52 that correct that’s absolutely correct Karen and in fact when doing all my you
18:57 know business courses and business networking I found something that’s
19:01 always been coming up and it’s givers gain and a win-win mindset and I thought
19:05 you know that’s exactly what we need to bring into family law this you know
19:09 win-win mindset and in terms of a givers gain it’s you give a little bit you know
19:14 so that you can have the best future the quickest future possible you know to go
19:20 into that bridge into your new life without burning any bridges behind so
19:24 today you may be fighting about the Doudna cover but really if you gave them
19:27 to do in a cover if you gave them that little bit of control would it matter
19:31 five years down the track in fact you look back and go can’t believe we’re
19:35 fighting about it you know that’s not what they’re fighting about no no it’s
19:40 not it’s not what they’re fighting about but it’s not I’m and it’s
19:46 a bit of control someone saying what’s this really about
19:51 it’s not about the Doudna you don’t even care about the dounda you probably never
19:55 even notice the Doudna what are you really fighting about yes exactly
20:01 exactly and that’s the thing before behind any disagreement
20:06 or any angst it’s normally not what it is and it could come back to something
20:11 that’s happened in your childhood in absolutely right Karen and people
20:15 understanding that and that’s why I love chatting with people to help our viewers
20:23 understand that you know what we live in a world that reality probably isn’t even
20:29 reality I like to say we’re all living in a movie we’re all chosen who we’re
20:34 going to be you’re all chosen the you know the the bit players in our life and
20:39 all this sort of stuff and understanding that we’re all here to grow and not only
20:46 personally in this realm but also on a soul level it sort of makes it a little
20:52 bit easier to sort of sit back and go okay what’s really happening here you
20:58 know where do I need to heal where do I need to grow and how can I do this
21:03 without you know having a million people sort of you know caught up in it all yes
21:13 absolutely in fact we always say in family law
21:17 lawyers the more support network you’ve got the less the chances of
21:22 settling this matter quickly because client and you convince them about
21:28 something and they see your point of view and they go outside and there are
21:32 people who are hurting for them you know I totally I’m laughing because I just know
21:45 exactly what what you’re talking about and even though these people think
21:49 they’re doing the right thing for you they’re actually not they’re not exactly
21:54 and people need to get in touch with who they are which is you know which is the
21:58 all about you or one of the areas of life of all about you is understanding
22:03 what is right for me yep asking yourself the questions not asking other people
22:08 asking you what is fair here what is right for here what can I actually live
22:14 with for the rest of my life because let’s face it a lot of people will go
22:20 through a divorce and one party will come out so badly
22:24 that they may even take their own life yes now if you’re on the other side of
22:29 that negotiation and that happened would you really feel like a winner absolutely
22:34 not absolutely not you’d have to be a big narcissist or
22:39 something else if you actually did after it now wouldn’t you that’s absolutely
22:43 right Karen and it becomes even nastier when the little kids you know you see here of
22:49 parents that you know just think that’s it I’m going and I’m taking my kids with
22:54 me yeah that’s horrible it is horrible and that’s why you know I think
23:00 if people looked inside if there was an introspective you know just thinking
23:05 about where this is going looking at the bigger picture then we can shift
23:08 mindsets I have to reiterate this doesn’t work for every single person yes
23:13 I’d say a majority of cases that end up in court don’t even need to be there in
23:17 the first place let’s leave the courts it’s almost like
23:21 an emergency section of the hospital let’s leave it for the true emergencies
23:24 I love that so now we’re running out of time as always so and I love what you do
23:31 I think it makes such a difference so how we always ask our guests to give a
23:37 little gift for our viewers so what is it you’d like to give our viewers
23:42 today Nadia you know Karen I actually couldn’t decide between the two gifts so
23:47 I’m thinking of presenting both to your viewers I’d love to to give both so one
23:57 of them is actually how to get the best out of your family law appointment and
24:02:00 it’s three checklists in one just like you preparing the best for that
24:07:00 appointment and making sure you’ve got the best foot forward and the other ones
24:11:00 called an estate mapping guide so if you’ve got your will in place but you’ve
24:14:00 got subscriptions memberships real estate property bank accounts how will
24:19:00 the executor know where to go so this puts all of that in the one place so he
24:25:00 knows that is such a great idea my son passed away seven years ago without a will
24:31:00 and thanks to his girlfriend she had a lot of the stuff we could put together
24:36:00 but I’m sure a lot of people would be going where do I start
24:40:00 what’s even that passwords to their computer you know what I mean exactly right
24:45:00 exactly right and I actually had the reason I started thinking about this is
24:50:00 because I had a client who had all his family’s overseas they’re in South Africa
24:55:00 in London and Greece and you know I was thinking how would they even know what
24:59:00 you’ve got in here if you didn’t have that checklist in place
25:03:00 yeah that’s great and and would that stay with a lawyer or would it well you
25:08:00 just give your family and just say look this is my checklist yeah absolutely
25:13:00 I would actually recommend you you keep it with both people so with a lawyer as
25:17:00 well as with your family or you can even just tell your family if anything
25:20:00 happens check this drawer or check this link
25:23:00 yeah that that perfectly makes sense yes it’s lovely
25:27:00 well Nadia I love talking to you and I know that you are married and you have a
25:32:00 couple of boys is that correct that’s correct
25:34:00 yes so I’m pretty sure that you and your husband are always negotiating on making
25:41:00 sure that you’re living the best life is that correct that’s absolutely correct
25:45:00 you know yep and we always try to think about the bigger picture
25:49:00 because at the end of the day you know where are you looking at the five years makes
25:54:00 a lot of things in the currents it really puts perspective on what’s
25:58:00 happening currently so I totally agree and you know and most people say what’s
26:03:00 you’re fighting about today will you really care about in five years time
26:06:00 unless people going on who would give a crap about your doudna cover like seriously you would have
26:12:00 changed five times by then now we have all of your details below this video and also people can get in contact with you so
26:25:00 you do do people outside the hills area as well
26:30:00 is that correct you yes do online with people that’s correct
26:33:00 yep so we called the hills family lawyers because we started in the hills and
26:36:00 I just love this part of the world oh that’s so nice and you have to admit anywhere in
26:40:00 Australia is absolutely beautiful we’re very blessed acbsolutley I
26:44:00 totally agree couldn’t agree more absolutely and but we help anyone in
26:50:00 Sydney and we even have interstate clients from Melbourne and Brisbane if
26:54:00 the other party is in Sydney ah that’s perfect
26:57:00 yes that totally makes sense okay well thank you Nadia
27:01:00 I have so enjoyed chatting with you today my pleasure Karen thank you for
27:06:00 your time thank you so much for this thanks bye and that has been another
27:10:00 episode of live love by design TV wasn’t Nadia amazing don’t you love the fact
27:18:00 that you can actually have a family law lawyer actually working towards a
27:25:00 win-win situation for everyone not a win-win situation where the lawyers win
27:32:00 and the two people who once loved each other both come out of it very bitter
27:38:00 resentful and not really learning or growing from the situation that’s right
27:46:00 that’s exactly what live love by design and live love by design TV is all about
27:51:00 assisting you to actually embrace all of areas of your life the whole four
27:58:00 pillars all about you all about your relationships all about your expertise
28:03:00 and all about your wealth creation a place where you truly can learn to live
28:09:00 and love each and every day to love who you are to love your life and to create
28:16:00 your dreams faster thank you again for watching and I look forward to seeing
28:21:00 you real soon on another episode over live love by design TV thank you


Karen Chaston: Show Host and Executive Producer

“I feel like I’m at the stage in my life, where honestly, I’m interested in giving back through showing people an easier way to do life, one where they don’t have to settle for less. One where they can learn from any mistakes I’ve already made. One that really makes it possible for them to live their dream life where every relationship in their life is complete, especially the one with them self. That is the true Essence of Live Love By Design.”  ~ Karen Chaston

As a former corporate Chief Financial Officer, Karen brings a unique perspective; extensive business experience and hard-earned wisdom that she wished were available to her when she needed them. Her many Live Love gems (tools and tips) will assist you to create your new normal life after any major loss. You will love who you become, all your relationships and any work you do will become more meaningful and effective.

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