Separation can be a challenging and emotional process for anyone to go through, especially when there are children involved. That’s why it’s crucial to have a plan in place to make the transition as smooth as possible. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the essential steps you should take when planning for separation.
Seek Legal Advice
The first step you should take when planning for separation is to seek legal advice.
A Family Lawyer can provide you with guidance and support throughout the entire process, helping you to understand your legal rights and obligations. A Family Lawyer can also help you negotiate a fair settlement with your former partner, especially when it comes to property, finances, and child custody.
With the right Lawyer, a separation doesn’t always mean going to Court. In fact, avoiding Court will typically mean a quicker resolution, reduced emotional and financial strain and less stress for any children involved.
Separating can be a costly process so it is a good idea to look for fixed fees wherever possible and to use the initial appointment to get a good indication of an estimated cost of legal fees based on your specific circumstances.
Your Family Lawyer will also be able to assist you to apply for specific finance to assist with your Family Law Legal Fees should you be eligible.
Be wary of the Free Case Evaluation that some Family Law firms offer. 15 or 30 minutes just isn’t enough time to get the detail and specifics needed to provide valuable customised legal advice. Look for a longer appointment time for a fixed cost that specifies what you will walk away with. By the end of an initial appointment, an experienced Family Lawyer will be able to provide a clear plan to move forward, options for resolution, estimated legal costs and likely entitlements specific to your unique circumstances.
Consider Your Finances
Separation can have a significant impact on your finances, especially if you and your partner share joint assets and debts. That’s why it’s important to take stock of your financial situation and plan for your future.
You should consider:
- Protecting assets from being taken by your partner without your permission (eg. Withdrawing funds from a joint bank account without your knowledge).
- Creating a budget to help you manage your expenses.
- Establishing your own bank account and credit card.
- Dividing your joint assets and debts with your partner.
- Seeking financial advice to help you plan for your future.
- Investigate if you are eligible for finance to cover your Family Law Legal Fees
Think About Your Children
If you have children, you need to consider their needs and well-being during the separation process. It’s essential to put their interests first and create a plan that works for them.
You should consider:
- Establishing a parenting plan that outlines how you will share care and responsibility for your children.
- Discussing any changes to their living arrangements, schooling, and extracurricular activities.
- Ensuring they have access to emotional support, such as counselling or therapy.
- Minimising any conflict or stress they may experience during the separation process.
- If you have school aged children, inviting your partner to attend a Child Inclusive Mediation.
Communication is key when it comes to separation planning. You and your partner should aim to communicate effectively, respectfully, and openly throughout the process. This can help reduce conflict and ensure that everyone’s needs are heard and considered. You should consider:
- Using a mediator or counsellor to help facilitate communication.
- Avoiding negative or aggressive language when communicating.
- Being clear and concise in your communications.
- Recognising when it’s time to take a break or seek additional support.
Take Care of Yourself
Separation can be an emotionally and physically challenging time, which is why it’s essential to take care of yourself. You should consider:
- Seeking emotional support from family, friends, or a professional counsellor.
- Maintaining healthy habits, such as regular exercise and a balanced diet.
- Taking time for self-care, such as reading, meditating, or doing yoga.
- Avoiding any self-destructive behaviours and relationships
Planning for separation can be a complex and emotional process, but taking the right steps can make it easier for everyone involved.
Seeking legal advice, considering your finances, thinking about your children, communicating effectively, and taking care of yourself are all essential steps when planning for separation.
By following these steps, you can create a plan that works for everyone and helps you move forward with your life and make a fresh start.
Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia https://www.fcfcoa.gov.au/fl
Family Law Smart Start Guide https://delaneyrobertsfamilylawyers.com.au/guides/legal-guide-family-law-smart-start-guide-guide/
Services Australia – Separated Parents https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/separated-parents