The First Steps to Take Following Separation

by | Feb 5, 2021 | General Legal Advice, Family Law Advice

Separation means change. Not a little bit of change, but huge change and even more so when there are children involved. There are the big things like where you live, how you are going to pay the bills, how often you spend time with your children, new childcare arrangements, your financial situation, household budgeting, loneliness, finding happiness again and your social life.

Then there are all the little changes in day-to-day life for you and your children. Opening a new bank account, establishing new routines at home, figuring out how to drop kids at school and arrive at work on time, dealing with sick kids, cooking meals, staying on top of school notes, packing school lunches – all those things that were probably a whole lot easier when there were two of you in the one household.

With all this change, on top of the emotional turmoil of separating, it’s not surprising that many people feel like life is spinning out of control.

Here’s what one of my clients said to me recently: “The shock of separation was so painful I kind of froze. I didn’t know what to do, who to talk to, or how to move forward. I needed help figuring out what to do one step at a time. Everything was out of control and I couldn’t do anything about it.

One of the first things I do as a lawyer is help clients understand the legal framework that is used to work out who gets what following separation, and how the children will spend time with parents following separation. But the most important thing I can do is help clients set a plan so that they feel more secure. Not a 20-year plan or even a one-year plan, just a short-term series of steps to get organised and regain some control around what’s happening. To restore some predictability to everyday life.

Those plans include:

  1. Managing your emotional response to issues as they arise.
  2. How to change the nature and type of communication being exchanged between you and your partner.
  3. How to negotiate a child focused parenting plan;
  4. How to budget for the change in household income.
  5. Identifying whether spousal maintenance is needed.
  6. Closing off joint accounts.
  7. Changing passwords on your email, computer, bank accounts and social media accounts.
  8. Gathering documents so that we can prepare a financial stock take with you.
  9. Accessing funds that you may need.
  10. Cancelling the redraw facility on your home loan.

Download our guide to separation here.

Want to talk?

Sydney Law Group is an experienced team of family lawyers who are passionate about achieving the best possible results for our clients. We exist to help you through this difficult time and to guide you to a positive outcome without extra emotional or financial stress. We’re on your side, every step of the way.