Family Law Separation & New Year Resolutions

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year” right? A time for cheer and New Year resolutions and optimism for the future. Well, it would certainly depend on who you ask. If that person was a family lawyer, they would likely tell you the opposite unfortunately. The Christmas season is full of immense pressure on families both socially and financially, which makes it no surprise that this period is regularly one of the busiest times of the year for the family law sector. The tragic story of family law separation at this time is all too common unfortunately.

The New Year brings with it a sense of hope and for those families struggling to survive as a unit, it is commonly an appropriate time to take the leap into separation. In a way, the decision to separate and move on with life is a kind of new year resolution. Chances are if you are reading this blog, you are contemplating, or have already separated from your partner or spouse. It’s possible that you’re still living together whilst separated. Whilst this may seem daunting, our job as family lawyers is to make this transition as painless as possible.

There are various options available to you to ensure that the process is as involved or uninvolved as you would like it to be, and we tailor our service around your needs. For example, if you already know what you want to do and are simply in need of guidance to formalise an agreement, we suggest engaging us to put it into words, to ensure that the agreement is as ‘water-tight’ as possible. It is more common, however, that parties are unsure of what they want and where they stand. If you are in that situation, then we recommend attending upon a dispute resolution service to try and talk things through with the guidance of a mediator. In either scenario, it is a life-changing event, and you would be assisted having a support person to guide you through it, whether that be a lawyer, accountant, or close friend.

If you are considering separation and are unsure of whether it is the right time to do so, we suggest that you consider the following questions:

  1. Are you a victim of domestic violence? We note that ‘domestic violence’ as defined under the Family Law Act 1975 goes beyond simple physical violence. Whilst it is a common misunderstanding, the law recognises that violence extends to emotional, psychological, and financial abuse also.
  2. Do you have assets for which you have combined ownership with your former partner/spouse, and you are concerned that if you separate you may ‘lose’ your entitlement?
  3. Are you unable to amicably manage reaching an agreement about parenting arrangements with your former partner/spouse?
  4. Are you concerned that your children are at risk within your family unit or whilst they are spending time with their other parent?
  5. Are you on amicable terms with your former partner/spouse and wish to divide your wealth as amicably as possible?

If you answered ‘yes’ to any of those questions, it is an appropriate time for you to take the next step and seek out advice from a family lawyer. We are ready and able to equip you with the advice you need to start the New Year feeling more at ease. For most of our families, a clear pathway to move forward is what is most valued.

If support, stability, and guidance is what you require to start off the New Year on the ‘right foot’ please feel free to contact one of our experienced solicitors on (03) 9793 7888 or send us an email at