Divorce advice – who should you listen to during divorce or separation?
- April 1, 2019
- Jennifer Hetherington
- 1 Comment
It's hard to know who to listen to when you are getting a divorce or separating
If you are contemplating separation or have just left your relationship, it is natural to discuss your situation with close friends, family members and even co-workers and seek divorce advice.
It is also natural to start comparing your circumstances to others who are going through divorce, separation or have been through it.
The vast amount of information available online can be quite confusing and confronting at the same time and you may ask yourself “who do I listen to?” and “how does this apply to me?”.
Listening to friends and family
One of our greatest sources of support are those around us.
They want to comfort us, and we know they want the best for us. It feels like a relief that someone is “in your corner” and understands you.
Whilst their divorce advice comes from a good place, it may not always be correct, and it should not replace necessary and accurate family law advice from a specialist family lawyer.
No two families are the same so the facts of each separation will be different including the length of your relationship, the ages of your children, your financial circumstances, your employment, and so on.
Allow your friends and family to be there for you, but don’t consider their advice, even though it comes from the heart, as advice that you can use and rely on to reach agreement about family law matters like parenting and property settlement.
Listening to your financial adviser or accountant
Financial advisers and accountants are a great resource. They will let you know where you stand financially, how your assets and liabilities are set up (including shares, investments and the like) and how this may affect you financially during your divorce and after separation.
Accountants and financial advisers may have their own opinions and want to help, however they are not trained in advising you on your family law property settlement entitlements. Just like lawyers can’t give financial advice, they can’t give family law legal advice. For this reason, experienced financial advisers, accountants and financial planners often refer clients to specialist family lawyers.
Use your accountant or financial adviser for their wealth of knowledge and expertise to better understand your financial position. This will allow you to tell your family lawyer clearly what you need, so we can provide you with legal advice tailored to your needs.
Listening to your Counsellor
Our family law Brisbane team are trained to consider your emotional well-being and to assist you in any way that we can to get you through divorce or separation without compromising your co-parenting relationship with your former partner.
To allow us to focus on the family law issues, we will encourage you to speak with trained professionals about the emotional toll of separation.
Listening to your counsellor will give you a neutral perspective as well as support and tools to go through separation.
You can also make use of the resources on our website about coping with divorce and separation.
Listening to the Internet
A simple search on Google on “what to do after you separate” comes up with over 850,000,000 results. The search results themselves can be extremely overwhelming.
There is no doubt that the information available online can be useful. The tricky question is, how will this information benefit you and assist you though your separation?
There are hundreds of family law blogs dedicated to separated parents and divorcing couples and you may find similarities with stories shared on these sites and find comfort in the knowledge that you are not alone.
However, what may have worked for one person, may not work for you. The results achieved by one person, may not be what you will achieve.
Shared stories and “online advice” should not be replaced by qualified advice from a family lawyer.
You should also be careful what you share online.
First, be careful not to disclose too much of your private life and put yourself at risk.
Second, remember that anything you share online may not be protected under confidentiality. The web is a small place. Your former partner may be looking for similar answers to you and he or she could come across your posts. This would likely escalate the conflict between you and potentially become evidence in court.
Having said that, information from reputable websites such as the Family Court and Legal Aid Queensland, can be very useful as they are well-researched and refer to current law.
The Family Court of Australia and the Federal Circuit Court of Australia websites will give you full access to the relevant court forms, brochures and fees.
Listening to your family lawyer
The most appropriate person to ask for divorce advice is a specialist family lawyer. We can advise you on the relevant law and the options available to you to reach a family law agreement that is relevant to you including options to divorce without court like Mediation and Collaborative Law.
The Family Court should always be an option of last resort.
Your family lawyers will find out what is important to you, what you want to achieve and involve you in every step of your decision-making process.
Your family lawyer’s advice is specific to your situation and should be taken more seriously than advice from sources who do not have the knowledge or are not skilled in family law.
If you are concerned about legal costs, this blog post has 7 tips to keep family law costs under control during divorce or separation and may assist you.
Listen to you
No one but you, knows better what you are going through and what you need.
Talk to our Brisbane family lawyers about your goals and concerns and take time to figure out what you need and what will best work for you and your family.
You do not have to do this alone
Book a meeting for fixed fee family law advice with a member of our Brisbane family law team. It is surprising how eye-opening and informative initial advice from a family lawyer can be.
You do not have to do this alone.
With the support of family and friends, experienced financial advice and specialist family law and divorce advice, you can sort out your separation or divorce and focus on your future and the future of your family.