Starting out afresh

Divorce: 3 Steps You Need to Take

by Rainier Van Der Harst

The process of divorcing your partner can be upsetting and difficult, particularly if your relationship has completely broken down. Unfortunately, many Australian marriages end in divorce. While it will no doubt be a trying time, there are steps you can take to ensure that you exit your marriage in a way which does not ruin your life.

Stay in the family home unless your attorney recommends otherwise

When a marriage breaks down, things can get messy. You may be tempted to leave your family home so you can seek the comfort of your friends or wider family. However, during a divorce case, leaving the family home can have far-reaching consequences. If you pack your bags and leave your spouse and family behind, the court may view this as abandonment. If the family court judge rules that you have abandoned your dependants, you could be forced to waive a range of rights granted to you as a divorcee. That is why you should seek the permission of your family and divorce lawyer before moving out of the family home.

Place your kids at the centre of everything

Even if your and your partner are fighting and arguing every time you meet, you need to avoid doing this in front of your children. It is important to remember that your children are innocent and vulnerable bystanders to your divorce. You should speak with your partner and agree to avoid fighting when the children are around. This will help to limit the amount of psychological damage the children receive during the divorce. The last thing you want to do is to wake up one day only to realise that your children hate you because of what you put them through during your divorce. 

Draw up a new will

Many people do not realise that when they get divorced their wills do not become invalid. Every part of the will stands, except the clauses which leave anything to your ex-partner. Anything you left to your ex-partner will now be left to the benefit of the residuary beneficiary. This means that if you do not draw up a new will, any property or money left to your ex-partner will be judged to be intestate and the property will be disturbed according to intestate law.

If you would like further advice and information about the steps you should take during a divorce, you should contact a family and divorce attorney.