Services » Separation & Divorce
A separation occurs when a couple’s relationship breaks down and one or both no longer want it to continue in the same way.
If you separate, you and your former spouse/partner will need to make decisions and arrangements about a number of different issues — such as how to deal with your house and debts. If you have children, you will also need to make decisions and arrangements about who will take care of the children, how contact will work for your family, and how the children will be supported.
A divorce occurs when a marriage is officially ended by a court. Only married couples can divorce. You need to have been separated for a period of two years before a court will allow you to officially end your marriage by divorce. By this time, you may have already divided property, have parenting arrangements in place and been living apart for some time.
When you're thinking about separation you need expert information. Well intentioned friends or family who have been through the process, or know someone who has, can often give you advice that is only based on their own particular stories. No two stories are the same and the value of professional advice at this point may be the difference in your outcome.
No two relationship circumstances will ever be the the same. That's why, from the outset, you should talk with a lawyer so that you can start to formulate a picture of what the options may be. Despite what people say about lawyers, getting early advice can save a lot of cost.
Threats of "taking you to the cleaners" or "never seeing your kids again" are common. This is when you need to get professional advice.
If you think that counselling may help, remember that couples can receive counselling sessions through the Family Court.
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