Going through a separation can be an extremely difficult experience. If you are contemplating separation, there are various things you should consider in order to make this process less stressful and confronting. 

1.Receive legal advice

Prior to separating, it is crucial to obtain legal advice to gain a better understanding of your rights and obligations. Receiving this advice may provide you with more confidence in entering discussions with your partner regarding parenting and property arrangements post separation.  

You may not be aware that certain information particular to your situation could have a huge impact towards your entitlement to a division of assets. For example, inheritances, windfalls, compensation payments, redundancy packages, health issues, qualifications and income earning capacities are all influential towards your entitlement.

Receiving advice prior to separation can provide you with options for implementing stable parenting arrangements. This can make the process of separation a little less daunting. The best interests of the children should be a key priority following separation. The primary concern is to ensure the children are provided with a stable, safe and healthy living environment.

2.Plan your living arrangements

Contemplating different arrangements after living together with your partner and children for several years can be overwhelming. Depending on your financial circumstances, a number of options may be available to you and your children.

The main decision is quite often whether to remain in the family home or seek alternative accommodation. Before you make this decision, you should take into account several factors, including: your financial situation, any safety concerns or whether there is alternative accommodation available.

3.Explore different methods of dispute resolution

There are various methods available to assist you in reaching an agreement with your partner regarding parenting and property matters. Becoming educated about different family dispute resolution methods, as well as ways in which you can formalise an agreement, may provide you with more confidence around your separation.

There are various avenues of dispute resolution available which you may not be aware of, including: mediation, family therapy, conciliation, negotiation and arbitration. Knowledge about the legal process will provide a certain level of reassurance, during what is usually an uncertain period.

4.Positive communication

Implementing constructive and positive communication with your partner can make the process of separation more beneficial for all parties involved. Volatile and heated communication can often worsen your co-parenting relationship and hinder positive negotiations.

If possible, always maintain open communication channels and try reach an agreement as amicably as possible. Discussions regarding parenting or financial arrangements with your former partner should not be held in front of the children. Never post or share information related to your separation over social media. This will only be detrimental towards resolving your family law matter.

5.Seek support

Separation can be an exhausting and taxing process. It is strongly recommended that you seek ongoing support from your doctor, psychologist and/or counsellor. There are various family therapy support services available to you and your family. Engaging family therapy will provide emotional and mental support tailored to your particular situation. 

This article is intended as general information only. It is not legal advice. For more information, please contact our Family Law team on (03) 9435