You may also be having trouble communicating with your spouse effectively to work out an agreement for your children about where they will live and how much time they will spend with you and your spouse.
You may be wondering what your options are to resolve your legal issues.
Quite likely, you have heard many different stories about families, like yours, who separate and who find themselves in court because they couldn’t agree on important issues. Those stories aren’t great stories, and so, you may be reluctant to do anything, but you may be beginning to wonder if there are any other options?
Before you rush into court, take a deep breath and think about what it is you really want to accomplish.
What things are most important to you – for you and your family?
I am certain that if you have found yourself here, you are a person who cares about your integrity and the financial and emotional well-being of yourself, your children and your spouse, even though, right now you are probably angry, hurt and possibly in shock that your relationship has come to an end.
And you will experience a variety of other emotions as you navigate your separation, it is common to feel like this.
These feelings are normal.
They will pass and you and your children will create a new kind of normal.
No matter how hurt or angry you are right now, the court system will not meet any need you have to punish your ex, and it is unlikely that through the court process you will feel like your position is supported.
It’s not the best way to solve family and personal issues.
There are many other ways to resolve your disagreement without a lengthy fight through the Family Law Courts.
What you might take comfort in knowing is there are a number of effective alternative dispute-resolution methods available to you and your spouse.
One of the more successful methods is where you and your spouse both use a lawyer who will act as your legal advisor and will walk next to you through your separation, helping you negotiate an outcome that reflects the things that are important to you.
In this process, your lawyers will be committed to avoiding the threat of litigation; and they will be committed to helping you and your spouse solve your legal problems in a way that is calm, dignified and respectful.
In this process, your disagreements are resolved in a way that meets your needs and those of your children and your spouse, and without a lengthy battle in the family law courts.
In this process, you and your spouse can talk about important financial and child-related issues in a productive way that is also honest and respectful.
Please think carefully about the choices that are available to you. Litigation is an adversarial approach that is expensive and rarely ends conflict. Litigation tends to result in very personal attacks between separating spouses and adversely impacts on your future relationship as co-parents. The conflict may even extend to, and include, other family members.
The Court process is often reduced to “winners” and “losers” by the end of the case.
On the other hand, the process I described above can result in you both feeling like your family has won by reaching a resolution that is less expensive, less hostile and more creative.
You can choose which direction you take, and the choices you make now can have an enormous impact on you and your children for the rest of your life.
Megan Sweetlove is a divorce lawyer and the owner of Sweetlove Family Law. Based in Crafers in the Adelaide Hills and also with consulting rooms just outside Adelaide CBD, Megan has worked with families who are experiencing separation and divorce for the past 10 years and is committed to assisting her clients find respectful outcomes to their separation, away from the Court process and with a focus on having a healthy future.
If you or someone you know needs assistance during divorce you can organise a complimentary 20 minute phone appointment with Megan here.
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