Making rash or emotional decisions
Separation is a major life event. You will most likely go through a roller coaster of emotions and stages of grief. Often the best thing to do initially after separation is to take time out “to smell the roses”, let the dust settle, and find your equilibrium. If you let your emotions take control you will most likely make the wrong decisions. You need to keep your emotions in check.
Going it alone
Separation is hard. Hard on you, and hard on your family and loved ones. Make sure you have support from family and friends. We recommend our clients seek counselling support from Centacare, Queensland’s premier counselling and support service. Look after yourself.
Not getting legal advice
It’s important that you talk to us early so that you know where you stand and can make decisions in the knowledge of how the Family Law System operates. Don’t rely on friends for legal advice. We are experts and do this every day. Better to be operating in the light of knowledge, rather than fumbling around in the dark of ignorance.
Believing everything you are told by family and friends
Whilst your family and friends are well intentioned, it is important to remember that Family Law is not a “one size fits all” jurisdiction. Just because a friend knows someone who got 70% of their property pool doesn’t mean you will receive the same. The Family Law process results in a different outcome in each case depending on its’ individual features. By seeking legal advice you will understand your best and worst possible outcomes.
Shutting down communication with your former partner
You may be angry or upset but it is important to keep the lines of communication open. If you can communicate with your former partner in a reasonable and respectful way you are more likely to get an outcome quickly and at minimal cost. You are also more likely to maintain amicable relations in the future which is particularly important if you are to co-parent together.
Not keeping it peaceful
Avoid entering into confrontations or aggressive communications. Try to be calm, respectful and unemotional. This is particularly important when children are around or involved.
Venting on social media
Whatever you are feeling don’t write it on social media. It may make you feel better for a moment, and your friends may even encourage you, however your comments will not help you achieve a resolution of your family law matter, and if you end up in court it could very well come back to bite you. People are being sued for defamation for what they’ve said on social media.
Moving assets around after separation
You might be tempted to move assets around or withdraw large sums of money post-separation. Don’t do this without first seeking legal advice. If you move assets without having a good reason this may come back to bite you in the longer term.
Involving the children in your dispute
Don’t. Just Don’t. They are innocent. Leave them out of it.
Entering into informal agreements around property matters
If you enter into an informal agreement that is not formalised under the Family Law Act by way of a Binding Financial Agreement then your informal agreement will not be enforceable, and your former partner may be able to claim a further property settlement from you in future. You may also miss out on substantial savings in stamp duty and tax that are available if the agreement is done properly.
Always bear in mind this is general advice only, and you need to get specific advice on your individual circumstances.
Contact us on 1800 961 622 or complete our contact form to discuss your particular situation.
Macpherson Family Law are family law specialists – we know what you need to do.