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Brisbane Family Law Blog

16Mar, 15
seaparation-advice-brisbane

Separation Advice Brisbane: WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE CONTEMPLATING SEPARATING FROM YOUR PARTNER

Separation Advice Brisbane with Charles Noble – Family Lawyer at Aylward Game Solicitors incorporating Family Law

There are a good many things you should consider prior to separating from your partner.  Firstly and most importantly make sure you have made arrangements for the children.  It is important to minimise the impact a separation can have on the children:

DO:

  • Make sure all adult issues are kept from the children. Separating can be one of the most emotionally charged and traumatic times of your life.  If the children are witness to arguments, verbal or physical abuse they will be affected, make no mistake!  The way you treat your partner will help mould the way in which your children will treat others around them now and into the future.  Being witness to abuse and violence has been shown to affect how a person will form relationships and treat their partners in the future.

Your children should not be a part of your dispute or witness any of it!

  • Make sure arrangements for the care of the children are considered and get help if you need it to know what is best for them. Often parents don’t know what is going to be best for the children or how much time they should spend with each parent moving forward into the future.  A child or family focussed psychologist can help as can a Family Law solicitor.  These professionals can guide you with respect to dealing with the rigours of separations involving children.
  • Talk to the children and reassure them that each parent still loves them. Often children are confused as to why parents separate and can feel responsible for the breakup of the family.  Each parent needs to talk with the children to understand their feelings and assure the children that the future will be ok with their new family dynamic.

Don’t

  • Denigrate or insult your partner in front of your children or in conversation with your children. While emotions and feelings may be running high it is easy to say insulting things to your partner in front of the children or about your partner to the children.  The message here is that children do not understand adult relationships and nor should they be subject to the dark side of the adult relationship especially when it is breaking down.  Their wellbeing should be the foremost consideration of both partners.
  • Use the children as bargaining chips in your dispute with your former partner. The message again here is to leave the children out of your adult dispute.  If the children are made aware of a dispute about who they should spend time with they may feel obliged to make a choice between their parents.  This can have devastating effects on their mental wellbeing and be detrimental to their relationship with one or both parents.

If your children are around 14 or older and mature enough to make considered decisions then you should listen to what they have to say.  Otherwise use good judgement and get advice if you need it about what will be best for your children.  Every family’s situation is different so seek help from a professional rather than friends or family.  They are more likely to be supportive of you and may have some ill feeling about your former partner.  Their advice may be biased and lead to conflict between the separating partners.

  • Leave it too late to consider and discuss children’s issues with your partner with whom you are about to separate. The earlier plans are made the better.  If plans are made too hastily they may not suit your situation moving into the future.  If you have to leave the relationship suddenly and take the children (to protect yourself or your children) make sure you have organised suitable accommodation for you and the children with family, friends or privately.  With support you can make longer term plans when you have moved away from your partner if there is an immediate risk to you or your children.

Look after yourself.

With or without children it is extremely important to look after your well-being.  If there is family violence in the form of physical, verbal or emotional abuse in your relationship you need to act on it.  Whether you think counselling can help to keep your relationship together and help it improve in the future or whether you plan to leave and not look back because you believe things are beyond repair, professional help in the form of counselors, psychologists and Family Lawyers can guide you in the right direction.

What you need before you or your partner leave.

Once you leave your relationship and move from the shared home it may be very difficult to return due to your partner not allowing you to do so.  If there is shared property, bank accounts, businesses you may each be involved in or any other financial tie to your partner you should gather information about it before you leave.  Because you will need to divide your property (and if you want to make the division legally binding into the future so that neither partner may make a claim against the other with the help of a Family Law solicitor) you will need a full accounting of financial matters conducted during your relationship.  To gather this information later with the help of a Family Lawyer can take a long time and cost thousands of dollars, so it is best to do it when you have access to the information on separation advice Brisbane.

Listed below are some of the things you should think of taking (or getting copies of) at the time you make the move, or keep, should your partner be ready to move out:

  • Your and you partner’s tax assessments and returns for while you were together and especially at any time that might be important to working out who has contributed what, financially, to the relationship. In any case, at least the previous three years will be very important.
  • Your and your partner’s most recent wage / salary certificates and particulars of what they earned throughout your relationship.
  • Your and your partner’s superannuation information at the time the relationship began and contributions throughout your relationship and at the time of separation.
  • Financial statements including profit and loss statements for any business / partnerships / corporations you or your partner has been involved with during the relationship and particularly over the previous three years.
  • Documents relating to trusts you or your partner may be involved with or have set up during the course of the relationship including trust deeds, trust financial statements and valuations of the trust if available.
  • Documents related to the purchase or sale of any property of value including, homes, investment properties, cars, antiques or furniture of value, jewellery and personal belongings of value, during your relationship.
  • Documents related to the value of property, cars, antiques or furniture of value, jewellery and personal belongings you and your partner owned at the time you commenced living together.
  • Records of any inheritances or gifts received by you or your partner prior to or during the relationship.
  • Bank statements for all of the your bank accounts for at least the year prior to separation and at any time that you may wish to prove that you or your partner utilised money of a significant amount during the relationship.
  • Details of all liabilities incurred in the last year of the relationship or related to any significant purchase during the relationship such as credit cards, mortgages and personal loans.
  • Details of stocks or shares held by you or your partner or acquired or sold during the relationship.
  • Any valuations of property, furniture and personal belongings that you have already obtained.
  • Details or records of life insurance or similar for you or your partner.
  • Any significant medical or psychiatric records for you or your partner.

Taking or copying these records at separation (or just prior) can eliminate many disputes in regard to matters relevant to the relationship and your entitlement to property of the relationship.  It is best to be as informed as possible before you leave.

If you are contemplating separating from your partner it is always best to consider your options and protect yourself and your children before leaving.  If you need to move quickly get the support of family and friends and seek help from a family lawyer, Brisbane has some great ones to choose from.

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