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5 tips on how to prepare for the breakdown of a relationship

When facing the breakdown of a relationship, the most important thing to remember is to

manage your state of mind. Your state of mind can determine whether your separation is

amicable or conflictual, short, or long, costly or cost efficient. Here are some tips to help

guide you navigate through the difficult process after the breakdown of a relationship.

1. Be Prepared

See a family lawyer as soon as you can, it is wise to see a lawyer even if you are just having

thoughts about separation. Seeing a family lawyer early in the process can help you plan

your separation and divorce in an amicable way resulting in a more cost effective and less

stressful experience.

Try and establish some savings to help support you through the process of separation. The

process can be slow, and it often takes months for orders to be made or for you to receive

financial support from your spouse.

2. Gather your documents and Financial Records

We see numerous cases where at the time of separation one spouse takes all of the

financial records or one spouse leaves the home without thinking about what they may need

to prove their finances. Disclosing financial information is a fundamental part of any property

settlement and you will be required to provide documentary evidence of your financial


3. Think about what arrangement will be best for your children.

It can be hard for children when their parents separate. It is important that you focus on what

is best for your children right now, and into the future.

Don’t criticise your children’s other parent or pressure your children to make decisions about

their own care. Children love their parents, and it can be harmful to put them in a situation

where they feel that they have to choose between their parents.

If you are thinking about separating from your partner you will need to consider

accommodation options for your children, you may also consider after school care and most

importantly continued access to family and friends. It is also wise to make sure that your

children have access to services that can offer some emotional support they may need

during this difficult time.

4. Think about your possessions.

It is likely that you and your spouse will share a lot of possessions and you will need to

consider what will happen to them.

Start with the big things like your car and furniture. You will need to think about who is

entitled to each item and who will keep it. Don’t forget to consider any loans and finance that

may apply to your possessions.

Be honest with yourself about possessions that you feel you really can’t live without.

Separating is stressful enough as it is and getting caught up in battles over small possession

can make the situation even more taxing.

5. Build a support network

Having a good support network around you makes all the difference during this difficult time.

Speak to you closest friends, let them know what is going on, and give them the heads up

that you may need a little extra support over the coming months. Know who you can talk to

and never be afraid to reach out and ask for a bit of help.

There is no common way to respond to separation and divorce and every situation is

different. There are many organisations across Australia that can offer support and advice

either in person or over the phone. Never hesitate to make enquiries about getting some

further support.

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