Just separated and don’t know what to do?
Separating from your spouse or partner is seldom easy. In addition to the emotional upheaval there are practical aspects to consider. Ironically, the time that a clear head is most needed is the time that emotions run high and balance is difficult to find.
It is a good idea to get proper legal advice as soon as possible. Not because you want to cause a fight, but so that you can understand your rights and the risks that you now face.
I can talk through with you the situation that you now find yourself in, and give you clear advice about your property and children and how to move forward. I can guide you through the separation process and hopefully help you reach agreement with your ex-partner. If agreement can’t be reached, I can help you through the alternatives, right up to court action if necessary.
What are some of the things I should do after separating?
Here’s some issues to consider when separating.
- Personal safety is a priority. Unfortunately, some separations result from or end in violence. I urge you to put safety first and contact your local police if you are experiencing violence or harassment.
- I can represent you in matters involving an Apprehended Domestic Violence Order (ADVO) or if you wish to oppose an ADVO that has been sought against you. Please see my separate page “What about family violence”.
- If possible, talk to your ex-partner about arrangements for the children to ensure their wellbeing is protected.
- Arrange to see me as soon as possible. Even if the decision to separate is mutual, you need to be aware of your rights. Sometimes parties are agreeable at the beginning of a separation but emotions escalate once discussions about children and property start.
- If possible, talk to me before leaving the family home. If you do move out, make sure you notify authorities of your new address. You might consider renting a post office box for privacy reasons and so your mailing address does not need to be changed again if you subsequently move.
- Ensure that you have access to bank accounts, home loan accounts and investments. Keep originals or copies of important documents such as passports, marriage certificates, superannuation and insurance policies and update passwords for email accounts and internet banking.
- Make sure that any property registered in joint names remains insured.
- Start a journal and keep written records of relevant dates, events and conversations.
- There are a large number of articles about various topics to do with family law on this website that you may find helpful to browse. Go to the “Read Up” page.
If you need assistance contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call one of my offices for a no obligation discussion and for expert legal advice.