The decision to separate can be extremely difficult. Whether you are the one making the decision, or your partner has made it for you, there are so many things to consider in those first few weeks or months that it can be overwhelming.
Separation is a process, but the most important thing to remember is that there are people and professionals available to help you through.
This is a short, but certainly not definitive, guide to helping you through those early days. It is a list of steps you should take when you are making the decision to separate and some tips that will help with the process moving forward.
We recommend the following:
- Gather up your important documents and information including bank statements, superannuation statements, details of any businesses and tax returns. While these documents can be obtained after you physically separate, it is often easier to have them handy and available from the outset to save costs and potential headaches later.
- If you are able to do so, write down a little balance sheet or a list of what you think all of the assets and liabilities are for the whole relationship, then add a note next to the item stating who currently owns the item (as in legal ownership). This will assist your lawyer in providing advice to you.
- It is really important to get competent legal advice. This should be obtained immediately – or as early in the process as possible – from a specialist in family law as they can give you the correct advice as to your rights and entitlements.
- It is a good idea to ask questions. No question is a silly question. If you are unsure of anything at any time, to alleviate stress or worry, write your thoughts down on paper or send a quick email to your lawyer and your questions can be answered in a timely manner so you are not worrying unnecessarily.
If you are thinking about separating, or have recently split from your spouse or partner, speak to one our experienced family lawyers. We can provide practical advice and information to guide you through the process and ensure you understand your rights and obligations.