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When a relationship or marriage breaks down, it is an incredibly upsetting and unsettling time.
For most of us, it is a devastating situation we never imagined ourselves to be in. As a result, it can be hard to know who to turn to when the nuts and bolts – such as the legal, financial, practical and emotional – aspects of the separation or divorce needs to be examined as big changes are occurring in your lives. It can be hard to think straight.
In this situation you might think that you need a lawyer, but is that your only resource during this stressful period? At the same time you want to stay out of court which you know will be expensive, take up a lot of time and add even more emotional and financial stress.
In the midst of this your deepest concern is your precious children and how they are going to be affected by the separation, let alone the very practical realities going forward such as whether they will be able to live with you and how their time will be divided between you and their other parent. Who can advise you about this?
What you need is careful, supportive and thoughtful mediation with the right mix of professionals. What you may not be aware of is a supportive service we offer which aims to help you, your children and your family in a holistic way. It can be a real game-changer for everyone in how the break-up is handled.
It is called Collaborative Practice. In this process you have the advantage of specially trained professionals will work together to support you to reach agreements about how to look after your children in this new situation and help you sort out your property and finances. Not only that, one of them will be dedicated to supporting you emotionally throughout this time.
The aim of Collaborative Practice is for both parents to work with the professionals and workshop issues and problems, collect and collate all the relevant information to your situation and brainstorm it all in face to face meetings. The aim is to offer and create as many choices and options as possible to reach a fair solution that is a win-win for both of you and your children.
Some of the benefits of handling a separation or divorce this way include:
* You decide what you want the outcome to be without involving the courts or a judge’s ruling.
* You are able to carry out these meeting privately.
* The focus is to sort out current problems and issues without raking up the past and keeping the proceedings fair without playing the blame game.
* This is an open and transparent process with no secret or hidden agenda or strategies as to how to get the better of the other parent.
* Everyone signs an agreement to stay out of court.
* It is a beneficial way to remind you both what your obligations are to your children that will continue even after you are no longer living under one roof.
* It is far less expensive process both financially and emotionally than going to court.
If these benefits appeal to you, Relationships Australia NSW offers a specific program, Collaborative Practice, to manage your separation in this way. For more information go to http://www.relationshipsnsw.org.au/support-services/collaborative-practice/