Where Do I Start After Separation?

Where do I start after a marriage/defacto relationship breakdown

Divorce is said to be one of the most significant grief events many of us will ever suffer. Is it any wonder then, that people who are entirely ‘normal’ all of a sudden turn into crazy versions of themselves acting out of character. In divorce, there are no winners. If you have “won” in a court process at the expense of your health the good opinion of your children, or the ability to make cooperative decisions with the ex partner, you may find, in the longer term, that you have “lost” – and that, in fact, you have lost a great deal. A successful divorce, if ever there was such a thing, is about staying amicable with your ex partner and resolving the issues in a friendly manner without going to court. For those who have children, it is important to remember that it is not your divorce that can cause harm to your children; it is the conflict that often ensues long after your separation that is the cause of harm.

Many people spend literally years of their lives in a dispute about property settlements and parenting arrangements. There are cases that the child was in a pram when the mother and father started court proceedings and the case was finalised when the child was 8 years old. They lose much of their settlement in legal fees and career impetus; they suffer from depression and ill-health; and their children are sad, tired and disturbed. Remember that it is open to you, at any point, to choose not to be one of them. You can close the deal on the best terms available to you right now – and then get on productively with your new and real life.

Steps after separation

  • The first step is to seek legal advice which will give you a realistic understanding of your position at law.

Realistically you should expect that, if you engage a solicitor, you are unlikely to get any result at all – either by negotiation or by order – for under $5,000 unless the matter resolves quickly after an exchange of letters, and the agreement reached does not need to be prepared for filing in court.

  • The second step after separation is practical arrangements: you need to decide who is going to move, where to, and when; how to finance the move; and what interim income, expense and debt management arrangements you can make, including Centrelink payments.
  • Then, whether married or dafacto, there are generally three legal matters that you need to deal with such as:
  • Matters relating to parenting and arrangements for children
  • The division of a couples financial affairs, including income and property
  • If you are married, apply for divorce

How to resolve my matter

The following is practical dispute resolution options

  • Negotiation – Direct
  • Negotiation- through lawyers
  • Mediation
  • Litigation

Types of agreements

  • BFA / Parenting Plan (ourside court)
  • Consent Order (outside court)
  • Initiating application to court
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Parenting Matter

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Property Settlement

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Divorce

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Prenuptial Agreement

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