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“How good will it feel to wake up tomorrow and know that this is behind you?”
As a leading family law practice on the Gold Coast, we know just how difficult the divorce process can be for our clients, even when they get the best possible result. We’ve actually been through it ourselves, so have the personal experience of needing to make tough decisions that we knew would affect the rest of our lives. It is important to approach these tough decisions and the way you think about the process in the right way. Not because we say so, but because it will save you a lot of heartache (and money) if you are able to take advice at the right time, even when it might be emotionally difficult to do so.
Obviously, that might sound a bit cold. We have been there ourselves. However, if you follow the steps below you will be better equipped to deal with the divorce process.
So how can you best approach the divorce process to make sure you end up with the best outcome (in what is always a bad situation)?
Seek help early
Earlier this month, we wrote on the need to seek help, even before separation. The point of seeking help early is to get comfortable on where you stand so you can make decisions based on good information. A lot of people ask their relatives, friends or anyone else but the person they should actually speak to (a lawyer) about their legal situation. That’s why we provide a free 30 minute consult for people wanting to know their rights when contemplating separation.
Getting in early alleviates much of the stress that making difficult decisions heaps on your shoulders. You will, at the very least, know what will happen and how that will impact on your assets, which for most people is a big point of stress. In our experience, being clear about the way forward and having the comfort to be able to make decisions is of utmost importance.
Make sure you have emotional support
Going through a divorce is one of the most stressful situations many adults face in their lives, so seeking support to handle it is important. That help might be family and friends, or it could be using a service like Beyond Blue, joining a local support group, or re-engaging with other things in your life that help you stay balanced.
It’s also important to be conscious of other parties, particularly the reaction of children involved. You are certainly not alone and there are many great support services available to give assistance. The simple point to remember is that an emotional reaction is very normal and being conscious of how it is affecting you and others is important so you can seek support when you need it.
Build a relationship of trust with your legal advisor and take their advice
Having a trusted relationship with your legal advisor is absolutely critical during the process. We will be tasked with best representing you and giving you the best advice we can, so you can make decisions that are in your ultimate interest. It’s very important for us to know that you understand our role, and take our advice on board as there will be times when things may get overwhelming and emotional, so our experience in being able to guide you through this with sound legal advice will be very important.
Beyond the practical reasons to take our advice on board, there are a number of other things at play which should give you comfort during the process.
Firstly, we have been helping Gold Coast families through these difficult processes for a long time and have particular expertise in family law. We have seen just about every situation that can arise and we are trained to help our clients get the best outcomes. For us, it is also personal as we have lived the experience ourselves.
Secondly, it is also important to understand that what we discuss and communicate with you is confidential. We will discuss this with you in more detail but in a nutshell confidentiality protects your interest and ensures you can be open with us.
Stop thinking about “winning” and think about moving on
This is a tough one, but incredibly important. Family law matters are complex, emotional and nothing like a dispute where there can be a clear winner. Family law matters generally involve at least two people who are losing, so the best outcome is one which is negotiated.
A disputed family law situation involves “sharing the pain”. Concepts like “winning” and “losing” need to be put to bed right away. The reality is that it is hard on everyone, no one ever has complete “victory”, and there are always costs to bare. This is especially the case for situations where disputes will arise in the process, like during a mediation.
So there you have it, 4 actionable tips to help you navigate your separation and better live through what is always a difficult time.
For more information about the family mediation services provided at our Gold Coast practice, we invite you to call our family lawyers on (07) 5591 2222 or contact us regarding a free 30-minute initial consultation.