Separation: The Aftermath
In doing my research for this week’s Blog, I came across an article written by a US celebrity divorce lawyer on the Top 10 Rules to follow after a divorce and in my experience as a family lawyer in Australia, I have to say I agree with all of them.
Laura Wasser lists the rules as follows:
- Communicate your expectations, in marriage and divorce.
- Get counselling.
- Put your children first.
- Be kind.
- Remember that this is a business transaction.
- Do your research when lawyering up.
- Keep in mind that your attorney is not your therapist.
- Be creative.
- Live your life.
- Stick together even as you are coming apart.
Ms Wasser makes some very good points throughout her article, and here I will elaborate on some of them.
Being kind is very important. Many separating couples could not think of anything worse than having to “be kind” to their ex – they separated for a reason and often that reason is as a result of conflict and dislike or even hatred for each other. While divorce will never be easy no matter how amicable the separation is or how much of a relief it may be, by being kind, polite, civil I think assists former spouses to cope with what is a difficult situation.
I have written earlier articles and we have published Plain English Guides on how a property settlement is effected by separation however it is important to remember the end result is always a transaction. It is hard for a spouse who was working long hours, coming home and helping the kids, and whose parents gifted them the deposit to purchase their first home, ever having to consider parting with their assets. While such contributions are acknowledged by the property settlement process, the settlement is ultimately a mathematical equation to work out how to fairly divide assets that were shared during a relationship.
Finally, but certainly not the least, while parents’ best intentions are to put their children first, at times emotion can cloud ones actions during this time. A central factor is to consider what words, support, arrangements are best for a child – their parents know them best and it is desirable for the parents to make the decision together about what is best for that child.
In writing this article, the obvious phrase “it is easier said than done” comes to mind. However, in advising and representing husbands, wives, mothers and fathers on a daily basis I felt I must share this list with my readers for some general tips on coping during a very difficult situation.
If you need legal representation in your separation please contact our experienced family lawyers on (02) 9625 6422.
(For Ms Wasser’s complete article, see http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/05/laurawasser_n_4045525.html?utm_hp_ref=celebrity-divorce).