That’s a decision that we understand doesn’t come lightly. We know that you’re probably overwhelmed with the emotional turmoil that comes with making that decision, but it is important to get some advice before you make the move.
The breakdown of a personal relationship, whether marriage or de facto, can be one of the most distressing and emotionally challenging episodes in a person’s life.
Whether it’s the separation or divorce stage, you need lawyers who specialise in family law, and at Australian Family Lawyers our only focus is this area. With offices in Sydney and Melbourne, we’re here to provide services with the sensitivity required in such difficult times.
Often, there are a number of issues at play at any given time and if not handled carefully can often flare up and make matters considerably worse. In our experience, by seeking legal advice early, preferably prior to separation you’re able to minimise the risk of making decisions that may adversely impact upon your legal position.
Generally speaking, there are a number of things you should think about prior to separation:
Look After Yourself
The trauma of separation and ultimately, divorce, has been considered to parallel with the stages of recovery of the death of a loved one. Seeking professional assistance from a counsellor can provide the necessary emotional support that is often needed to move forward positively.
Consider the Children
Children are also affected by separation, so separating couples need to consider this in their approach to the relationship breakdown. Separating couples should discuss the best way to talk to their children about it all and further how they can both preserve their individual relationship with their children. Just because mum and dad may not love each other anymore doesn’t mean that they love the children any less. Children want to be assured about the time they will spend with each parent following the separation.
Inform their school or childcare
Letting those who care for your children know about your separation is important, but often forgotten.
Consider living arrangements after separation
Preparation makes very good sense in many respects, but this is perhaps the most important. The last thing you want to happen is for there to be a situation where you and your children need to flee the home without knowing where you will go. You and your children may be able to stay in the home following separation and your spouse move out. It is important to know your rights about this early on.
Consider how best to handle your joint financial obligations post separation
Getting some advice on this is important so that you can plan ahead and have some financial security following separation.
Consider your assets, liabilities and superannuation
You need to consider all the full spectrum of financial arrangements and obligations that you and your partner currently have. Moreover, if you have nominated your spouse as a beneficiary of superannuation, life insurance or death benefits you should get advice about whether you should change this. You should also make amendments to your current estate plan, such as your will. You should also get advice about whether you should/could make changes to companies, trusts and bank account holders/signatories.
If you are leaving your marital home, it’s important that you make sure you take all the things that are important to you. In this regard, we’re not necessarily talking about your favourite furniture, but rather important documents of yours and the children’s such as passports, birth certificates, marriage certificates as well as photos and other things of sentimental value.
It is also advisable to get copies of yours and your spouse’s financial documents, such as bank statements, superannuation statements and tax returns. Our lawyers are able to advise you about what documents you should try and obtain prior to separation/divorce.
Call our offices to talk with our divorce & separation lawyers
We offer specialist family law services dealing with divorce as well as children’s matters and more. Visit our contact page to find out your local office’s number, or use the enquiry form and we’ll respond hastily. From the western to eastern suburbs of Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, we’re here for you.
Contact Australian Family Lawyers
Do you have a question about family law or relationship law?
Contact us today, and a member of our team will get back to you soon.