A Step-By-Step Guide To Starting Over The Marriage Separation Process

June 27, 2022    Familylawyers
A Step-By-Step Guide To Starting Over The Marriage Separation Process

One of the most common questions people get asked after the separation process is, “What should I do now?”. Though there can be various answers to this question, not all of them can help you.

In this guide, you will learn how the separation process works and how you protect yourself on this journey. You will also know if the help of a separation agreement lawyer is needed during this time.

What Is Meant By The “Marriage Separation Process”? 

Separation is the word that is used when people discontinue living together as a couple. There can be some ifs and buts to such statements, but you need to be married to get separated.

It is fair for everyone involved to take steps to bring a serious or long-term relationship to an end in a detailed way. With marriage, there may or may not involve a divorce, but a marriage process in Australia involves the following:

  • Initial decisions and conversations
  • Arranging the required support and advice
  • Working to reach an agreement
  • To validate and effect the agreement
  • To make a new start.

Starting The Marriage Separation Process (Initial Decisions And Conversations)  

The separation process starts with a decision by either one of the partners or both to bring a relationship to an end and stop living as a couple. Once the decision is made, it is followed by a conversation where couples communicate their decision to separate.
People communicate in several ways, sometimes in counselling, letters, emails or simply by sitting and discussing. To be separated does not require both the partners to agree to this decision.

Separation can happen at any time and does not need a family lawyer Perth or a court to make it happen. But after a decision is made, it is a good idea to get some advice so that you can ensure that everything is properly dealt with and you can start a new life.

Arranging Support And Advice 

Separation can be stressful, and it can be hard to know what to say to whom and what things are normal during this time. You may not know where you find help during such a difficult time.

People react differently to different things during this time, and there are pressure points. Some people are anxious about their financial future, while some worry about their kids. You can contact a counsellor or separation lawyers in Perth to take care of mental health and other things.

Money And Property During Marriage Separation 

After a relationship breaks down, a major point of discussion will be about splitting properties or assets among partners. You do not require a divorce to reach a property settlement; it can occur anytime during the separation process.

What Counts As Property During A Separation?

During the separation process, anything that has value is a property. Some of the things that are going to include in this are:

  • Superannuation
  • Insurance policies, if they are valuable
  • Cash, term deposits, shares and other investments
  • Vehicles
  • Personal effects such as watches and jewellery
  • Businesses and their assets that include interests in family trusts that may be part of a business structure
  • House and investment properties.

Individual properties are also dealt with such as:

  • Personal loans
  • Mortgages
  • Credit cards
  • ATO liabilities.

At What Stage Do You Need to Sort Out Your Property Settlement? 

When you know you will be separated or are separated; you need to sort out your property settlement as soon as possible. The reasons for that are as follows:

  • There may be time limits to making your application to the court for a property settlement. If you miss them, it can lead to legal costs and headaches.
  • The time limit is usually two years from the date of separation for a couple and a year from the finalisation of a divorce.
  • The sooner you receive finalisation, the better it is for your personal health and wellbeing.
  • The easiest way is to deal with things whenever they occur. Memories will fade, assets will move around, and people’s situations will change.

Do You Require A Court Order For A Property Settlement During A Divorce? 

You do not require a court order to divide your property. But there are some good reasons why you should go for a court order to formalise the various agreements in a divorce.

Some of the reasons are as follows:

  • A court order can help formalise your agreement and help bring your financial relationship with your partner to an end. It can act as an insurance policy, indicating that you will have your agreement formalised and your partner will not return for a further settlement in the future.
  • Some assets cannot be divided without a formalised agreement, for instance, superannuation.
  • When you formalise your agreement, it can indicate that you can avoid specific taxes or duties such as stamp duties where the property is transferred from one partner to the other.

With the help of separation solicitors, you can document your property’s settlement with your former partner and get orders from the court. This will be a consent order and will be made under the family law.

Agreeing To Things Regarding Children’s Care After Separation 

Children can be one of the most challenging aspects of a separation process. But though it will be difficult, the best long-term decisions are made when the parents focus on the interest of their child in question.

This is an approach that is generally encouraged as the separation of you, and your spouse can be a big blow to your children. This can have different impacts on a child; thus, such decisions can help take care of them.

Who Makes The Decisions Regarding The Child’s Future?

As per the family law of separation, just because you and your partner are separated doesn’t mean that one parent gets to decide important things and the other does not.

After your separation, you and your former partner will have joint responsibilities for the major decisions of a child’s life, such as school, religion and health. But joint responsibility does not indicate that both get the same time with their kids.

How Are Parenting Matters Agreed Upon? 

Reaching agreements about parenting arrangements can happen with one or more of the following supports:

  • Direct discussion between parents
  • Lawyer negotiations
  • Mediation

Once an agreement is reached regarding the parenting arrangements, some options are available to formalise the agreement. An option is to hire a lawyer to write up the parenting agreement you and your partner have agreed to

This will detail all the arrangements that you and your former partner have agreed to and is also signed by both of you. A parenting plan is a common way separated families create parenting arrangements. A parenting arrangement cannot be forced upon people but can be relied on in court proceedings.

Can The Marriage Separation Process End Up In Litigation?  

Yes, though most people focus on how they separate property from their spouse, the separation process is not always by consent. If you cannot agree with some of the aspects, then there are some ways to go forward.

  • Before things end up in court, the parties of each partner are advised to try mediation. In this process, an independent advisor or facilitator can help you or your former partner to discuss issues that are holding up the finalisation of your agreement and encourage a settlement path.
  • Mediation can often lead to resolving unresolved issues but not all the time. If mediation and other similar negotiations cannot bring a solution, you may have to move to court. A court is expensive and will take a long time, but sometimes it is the only solution.
  • You need to be assured that in family law, most couples can negotiate a property settlement and parenting agreement directly or with a negotiator’s help.

What Happens After You Are Separated? 

After formalising your property settlement and parenting agreements, you can shake off the past and move to a new life. But you must ensure that you comply with everything until the end of the deal.

Things may be rough for you if you cannot comply with the property or parenting orders. If your former partner fails to hold up until the end of the deal, you need to call your lawyer.

But other than that, if all goes well, you need to think seriously about what your next phase in life is going to be. You must remember that you have a life ahead, and it is time to live that life.

Contact Family Lawyers Perth 

If you want to settle things accordingly after your separation, you can consult or hire Family lawyers in Perth. They are one of the best firms that can provide you with the best lawyers to aid you in all the legal processes during the separation phase with your partner.

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