Separation Solicitors in Brisbane, Toowoomba, Ipswich & North Lakes.
Separation is a significant event, with emotional, physical and financial repercussions.
Accurate and timely legal advice can provide you with the appropriate information you need in order to be able to take the next step forward comfortably and confidently
We have strong relationships with fellow legal practitioners so that the focus is your well-being rather than unnecessary conflict.
Choose the path that describes your situation for more information.
Not every separation is the result of a big argument where someone walks out, slamming the door behind them. In fact, most aren’t – they are the result of serious and quiet contemplation.
If you find yourself thinking about separation as you drive to work on a Monday morning after a particularly difficult weekend, or after the kids have gone to bed, you are not alone. Even though it may feel like it.
There is a lot to work through at this time. There’s the guilt of not “being honest” with the other person, fear about what will happen after separation and the impact on the kids, and possibly sadness as to how you reached this place where you now find yourself contemplating separation.
All of these emotions are perfectly natural and the best thing to do is work through them. It’s a good idea to surround yourself with family and friends that you can talk to in confidence and to seek emotional and other support from external advisors where needed.
Just because you seek that advice doesn’t mean you are locked into going through with a separation. Almost half of the people we see who are contemplating separation reconcile and do not separate.
At this time, information is key to how you choose to move forward. Things like where you stand, how it would work if you choose to separate, what are the options, how to prepare in the event of separation, and importantly to connect you to other professionals who can offer support.
We also have an obligation to ensure that you have exhausted the prospect of reconciliation. While every couple is unique, reconciliation counselling may help you to understand more about your feelings and help you decide whether to stay together or not.
Our team offers no-obligation fixed fee initial appointments that are of course completely confidential. Such initial advice can help you to work out where you stand, connect you with other experts and explain how things might play out for your unique situation.
We will not contact the other person, or anyone else, without your express consent. However, we will need to know the other person’s name and date of birth purely for the purposes of making sure that we are in a position to provide you with advice where we can only assist one party to a separation.
If you would like to find out more about seeking initial advice from an expert Brisbane family lawyer contact one of our offices in confidence when you are ready.
The end of a relationship when one party is ready to end the relationship before you are ready can be a really difficult time. Firstly, if you feel comfortable you can discuss how you are feeling with your partner. If you have not done so before, you may wish to consider engaging a therapeutic practitioner such as a marriage counsellor or psychologist.
If things are not particularly amicable or you have safety concerns then getting in touch with us at an early stage may be a great circuit breaker so you know where you stand and how to approach conversations and separation with your partner.
Unlike what you may expect, it does not require both parties to agree before a separation can take place. It can be initiated by one party only provided certain further steps are then taken.
The law relating to de facto couples and married couples is slightly different when it comes to the timing and effect of separation so again it is a good idea to get legal advice at an early stage about your individual circumstances. Importantly, who initiates the separation has no bearing on other important matters like remaining under the same roof, or one party leaving the home, or what should happen with your property or children.
Separation comes about in a variety of ways. Whether it was a joint decision, or something initiated by only one of you, you can never really be prepared for that moment especially emotionally.
There are steps you can take upon separation that will help to sort out more practical matters and ultimately work towards a much more functional relationship into the future.
You can start by answering questions such as:
- Is separation the answer?
- How will we explain our decision to separate to the children?
- How do we allow for the children to maintain the same level of time and contact with each of us immediately following separation?
- How do we minimise the disruption to the children?
- What immediate living and financial decisions can we make together?
- In what way will we continue to meet our financial obligations and joint liabilities pending an agreement about the division of our property?
- What will happen to any joint bank accounts in the short term?
- Can we agree on how to divide our household contents, furniture and motor vehicles?
- How do we prevent spiralling into conflict?
Answering these questions will likely be clouded by things like surprise, shock, grief, sadness and possibly anger and guilt. If for no other reason than the future wellbeing of your children, do try and put as much of that aside as you can to consider these fundamental questions.
You can download this list and other things to think about at this time in our free guide here.
If you’re struggling to reach even preliminary agreement on these issues we urge you to consider seeking out the advices of a family lawyer or counsellor to guide and support you at this time. If you find yourself in this situation you need to consider other questions like:
- Am I concerned for my personal safety or that of the children?
- Should I obtain my own bank account?
- Do I need to change passwords on any personal accounts such as internet banking, emails, social media and PINs?
- Do I need to change the names of any accounts such as the internet and phone, insurance and utilities?
- Do I need to take any steps to protect my interests in the property including cash?
- What do I need to take with me?
- Do I need to notify Centrelink or any other government departments?
- Is it time to update my will and enduring power of attorney and any beneficiaries of superannuation and life insurance?
- What happens next?
We offer a no-obligation fixed fee initial appointment with our expert family lawyers where you can seek assistance in answering these questions and finding out more about what happens next. Contact one of our offices for more information.
Find out more about practical considerations at separation.
How to navigate a separation and all that goes with it is not something we are taught or learn about at school. All of the well-intended advice from family, friends, neighbours and colleagues will only tell you about their experience, and not how your separation and divorce is likely to play out.
It probably feels like there is a seemingly endless supply of ‘what if’ and ‘how do I’ questions to worry about and keep you up at night.
- What about the children – where will they live, and what time will they spend with the other parent?
- How do we separate our assets and property?
- Will I be financially secure following this process?
- What about child support and spousal maintenance?
- How do I even get a divorce?
- Will we have to go to court?
Answers to all of these questions are simply a matter of time and a healthy dose of expert advice away. Now is a good time to start looking for a family lawyer that is right for you and taking that first step to go and meet with them.
There can also be a real sense of being out of control at a time like this. To help regain a sense of control upon separation, you can make an active decision to:
- prioritise the wellbeing of your children;
- respect the role of the other parent;
- devise a plan for your health and wellbeing and stick to it;
- seek advice from an expert family lawyer.
Find out more about what you can do to regain your sense of control here.
You may not feel ready to move on just yet. That is absolutely fine as well; separation often requires a period of grieving. This article may be of interest to you if you feel that way, and we also strongly recommend seeking counselling to help you work through this time.
Now that you’re ready to deal with the legal aspects of your separation it is important to seek expert advice at the outset. Read our tips for finding the right family lawyer.
So often we meet with clients in circumstances where we are the second or third lawyer they have met with and they have spent a significant amount of money without any real progress or understanding of where things are at.
If you think you would like a second opinion, you can contact our team today to find out about a no-obligation fixed fee initial appointment.
It is increasingly common for couples to separate under one roof, for a whole range of reasons from financial to consistency for the children. Living under the same roof as a separated couple is possible, although needless to say it can pose a whole range of complications for your family.
It will not however greatly impact your family law matter or divorce. You can find out more here.
Contact our family law team for a consultation
At Best Wilson Buckley Family Law we pride ourselves on being able to provide compassionate and practical advice that can help you move on to the next chapter of your life.
Related Separation News
We wanted to share a fantastic recently released podcast, Divorce Story, which offers some great insights on how to best to navigate a civil relationship with your former partner. Here...
This past month has been a rocky road, and especially so if things between you and your partner were deteriorating BC (before COVID). Or perhaps the strain of everyday life...