You may have wondered why, as a family lawyer, I post so much related-but-not-legal stuff about separation.
For a start, when it comes to the legal solutions, I can speak very generally about different situations and how the law is applied, and sometimes I do.
However in family law, there is no “one-size-fits-all” menu to a separation – parenting or property issues – no matter how similar two different families or set of circumstances may seem. If only it was that simple!
With my many years experience as a family lawyer, I appreciate how completely overwhelming separating can be, and you might feel a little like this picture! I recognise there is more to family law than the law.
It is a delicate and intricate web of emotional, psychological, financial and legal matters that require careful navigation to ensure everyone moves toward the future with their well-being in tact.
From a legal perspective, I understand how advice carefully tailored to your specific circumstances, a strategy to guide you through your separation, and understanding your options to resolve your separation are all useful parts of the process for reducing the overwhelm.
So too, and sometimes moreso, information about the related-but-not-legal stuff to do with separation also reduces feelings of overwhelm and uncertainty.
When a significant relationship starts or ends, how can we pretend that it is not an emotional, financial, psychological, and biological process, as much as it is a legal one.
And so, it feels far more useful to speak about the things that are relatedto the legal aspects of separation, but are not necessarily about the law. I believe that by talking about, and understanding the other aspects, the legal process can become far less complicated and overwhelming.
Admittedly and in the interests of full disclosure, I am not a psychologist, financial advisor, or accountant. I do not pretend to be an expert in any of these areas however I am constantly reading and learning about more than the law. I am certain it is making me a better person, and a much better lawyer.
I am constantly learning ways to integrate “life” into “law” to make the legal process easier.
And while it would be nice and neat and simple to compartmentalise the work I do into the “law” box, the truth is, I can’t. As family lawyers, we can’t.
The process of separation is highly emotional and is more than a legal process. To navigate your separation properly and carefully, support from a multi-faceted team is required.
In family law, the process of separation and sorting out the legal matters is more about the personalities involved than what the law says. However as a lawyer I don’t have the qualifications to give you the tools to manage those personalities and I don’t have the qualifications to help you work out how to make the assets you keep in your property settlement work for you.
I think it’s easy to forget that a team is required. And I think it’s useful for us to all settle in and acknowledge that a team is required to help you prepare for your future in the best way you can.
It feels trite to say it’s life-changing, but we both know it is.
In my experience, if the non-legal aspects are dealt with calmly and respectfully, the overall experience can be a more positive experience for everyone involved.
So, in part of the joy of sharing information with you is that I can explore the areas associated with my work, and which I find interesting and useful.
And, if I am able to help make the experience of separation less overwhelming, and more positive one for you, that is a good part of my day.
Megan Sweetlove is a divorce lawyer and the owner of Sweetlove Family Law. Megan has worked with families who are experiencing separation and divorce for over 10 years. She is passionate about helping separating couples improve the way they communicate so they can successfully resolve their conflict and rebuild their relationship to be the best thing for their children.
If you or someone you know needs assistance during divorce you can organise a complimentary 15 minute phone appointment with Megan here.
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