Family Lawyers Adelaide
This section is about stages of separation, how separation can affect people, what you will need to consider and some immediate decisions you may need to make. It provides links to places you can seek assistance and legal advice about your situation.
Stages of separation
Separation is a major step for everyone. Its a time when you need help and information. Most people admit feeling the worst they have ever felt in their life. Grief, where you feel the loss of an important part of your life, may be the reason for this. If you separate, you may experience these different stages of grieving:
shock and denial that it is really happening
anger and blaming your former partner or another person
sadness and depression,
sadness and depression, moving forward acceptance and adjustment to your new life.
Talking to friends and family can help you sort out your feelings. Trained help may assist you and your children cope better with the changes.
Moving at a different pace
Separation affects everyone differently. You and your former partner may move through the stages of separation at a different pace, feeling different things at different times. For example, one of you may be starting to accept the separation while the other is still feeling angry. Even if you are at different stages, it is possible to talk with your former partner about arrangements for your children, house, money and other financial matters. Courts understand you may be at different stages of moving forward and that this may affect your ability to negotiate with your former partner.
What you need to consider
If you separate, you and your former partner will need to make some immediate decisions about practical issues about your children and your assets. You may not be able to agree on all these things at the time of separation, but it can greatly help you and your family if you try to reach a temporary agreement. You can use the facilities of the Family Relationship Centres, if there is one in your area, or other community-based services to reach an agreement. It is a good idea to get legal advice. Some of the things you need to consider are:
where your children live and who will take care of them
how you and your former partner will support yourselves and your children
what, how and when you will tell the children, other family members and friends
who will pay outstanding bills or debts
who will stay in the house
how will the rent or mortgage be paid
what will happen to any joint bank, building society or credit union accounts
what will happen to the house, car, furniture and other property.
Talking to friends and family can help you sort out your feelings. There is also trained help available that can assist you and your children cope better with the changes.’