Posts

Reducing conflict following a separation

How to keep conflict at bay following a separation. 

Avoiding conflict following a separation

You may dread receiving emails or texts from your former partner. There may be sense of shock every time you see his or her name come up on your screen for fear of what new accusation there may be against you.  Changeover times for the children may be full of stress and tension for you having to deal with your former partner.

What to do in that situation?

One of the “mantras” of the Family Law Act is best interests of the children.  “Best interests” is the paramount consideration guiding a Court when determining what should be the care arrangements for children.

We would probably all agree that best interests includes keeping children out of any conflict between parents following a separation.   And not only for the sake of children.

Continuing conflict with your former partner can also keep you from being able to move forward with your life. It can erode your confidence over time and leave you feeling isolated from friends and family.

Sadly, you may find an escalation in conflict with your former partner as you seek to resolve your family law issues following separation. That is not an uncommon experience but the good news is that tensions often settle down after you have finalised the division of property or care arrangements for the children.

In the meantime though, it is important that you do what you can to reduce conflict with your former partner and the stress that that can cause for you and your children.

Often, that conflict is seeded in tensions that developed during your relationship and has a long and complex history. It may be that truly resolving that conflict would require real change in both you and your former partner.  Where you are separated, you need to be realistic then about what you can achieve. Since you can’t change your former partner, any reduction in conflict is going to depend upon change in you and your approach to the conflict.

Here are some suggestions which we hope you will find helpful:

  1. Try to bury the past: This may be easier said than done as you may feel very strongly that things have not happened – and maybe still are not happening- as they should in your former partner’s dealings with you. It will help though in your current communications if you do not make comments about what has gone wrong in the past. You can’t control what comments your former partner may make but if you can do this, it should help defuse ongoing tension.
  2. Be careful in your choice of language: As much as possible, be polite to your former partner in the way that you address him or her. You may feel that your former partner has been at real fault in his or her treatment of you. You may well be right. However, if you use language of blame or accusation directed at your former partner, it will be hard to see improvement in the way you communicate. Even if he or she continues to be rude to you, if you can keep communications polite and not “fuel the fire”, it will likely help you in your feeling about communications. It is harder too for the other person to keep on the same negative track if you are not responding in kind.
  3. Making some mutual ground rules: You should give some thought to what situations or issues may be commonly causing conflict between you. For example, it may ease tensions if you both set some ground rules such as not making calls to each other after a certain time of night or agreeing that you will each only use certain language when addressing each other.   If you are in the middle of trying to reach a property settlement or formal arrangements for your children, it may ease tensions if you agree that you will not speak to each other about these issues but that all communications on those areas must be by email between you or conducted only through your solicitors.
  4. Making your own ground rules: If you are finding that your former partner is sending you a barrage of emails or texts and you are feeling harassed, you should carefully consider if it is really necessary for you to reply to a particular communication before you go ahead and do that. Choose to respond only when it is essential for arrangements for the children.
  5. The bottom line: If your former partner persists in conduct that leaves you feeling threatened or at risk, then you may need to take other measures. Contact us for advice in this situation.

 

Tips for arranging Christmas post-separation

Christmas is a time for joy, love and sharing. If this is your first Christmas post-separation, here’s a few tips to ensure the holiday remains festive for you and your family.  

Ensuring Christmas remains a merry time for you and your kids, post-separation.

 

 

 

Christmas pre-separation, its synonymous with excitement, happiness, and probably Santa. Christmas post-separation, brings a whole new category of synonyms. They don’t have to be negative, but without the right planning and discussions, it can end up being a time full of turmoil.

There are multiple avenues to consider when discussing arrangements with your former partner for time with the children on Christmas Day. The most common arrangements are:-

  1. A time-sharing arrangement. An example would be the children spend 9:00am on Christmas Eve to 12:00pm on Christmas Day with one parent and 12:00pm on Christmas Day to 5:00pm on Boxing Day with the other parent; or
  2. An alternate year arrangement. An example would be that the children spend the entirety of Christmas Day with one parent in any year ending in an even number and with the other parent in all years ending in an odd number.

Both have their pros and cons. You need to work out what works best for you and for your children.

Consider:-

  1. Do you like to go away over Christmas?
  2. Will either of the above arrangements affect your Christmas traditions?
  3. Do you live close to your former partner? Is travelling for a changeover on Christmas Day practical?
  4. Do your children have daily routines/requirements that can’t be skipped on Christmas Day? Will this affect changeover times?

First and foremost, consider how your children will cope with either of the arrangements.

Consider putting a proposal forward in writing to your former partner setting out exactly how the Christmas period could work and ask for your former partner’s opinion and requested changes on your proposal. Negotiate from there.

If you still can’t reach an agreement or if it is better for you to correspond through a lawyer, contact us and we will be happy to prepare a letter to your former partner setting out your proposal and settle an agreement.

Time to be savvy! Re-entering the workplace after separation

Dealing with a separation can be a challenging time. If you are preparing to re-enter the workplace after a number of years away from work, you will want to make well-informed choices about the career path to pursue.

Returning to work after a separation

With the ever-changing state of jobs and the uncertainty that advancements in technology have brought to many fields, it can be difficult to know what career avenue will be best for you following a separation.

A recent article in the Courier Mail’s “QWEEKEND” (12-13 November 2016) referred to a report conducted by the global consulting firm, PwC, indicating that over the next 20 years, 44 per cent of Australian jobs are at risk of disappearing. These harrowing figures are connected to advancements in technology. But it’s not the first-time workers have been hurt by technological advancements. When machinery took over manufacturing factories for mass production, countless jobs ceased to exist. Australian workers again face this threat of job redundancy by computers and technology that are increasingly able to fulfil roles that people previous held.

So, what does this mean for you as a current job seeker?

Although certain professions may begin to crumble away where technology offers a more efficient approach, there is a silver lining: technology is also a great producer of jobs. The internet has made it easier for individuals to create their own brand and ideas, and sell it to the world. We have seen this in the launch of countless bloggers, social media sites and online magazines.

The idea of launching your own business over the internet may sound daunting. You may be surprised though, if you stop and think into your own life experience, just how many great ideas you have that could flourish in your own business. If you’re looking to re-enter the workforce after a separation, an exciting fresh start might be just what you need.

Having your own business though is not for everyone. But whether in a business of your own or as an employee, according to Jan Owen (chief executive of Foundation for Young Australians) and Peter Coaldrake (QUT vice-chancellor), there are a number of skillsets that you will need to help keep you safe during this technological storm.

You will need to be willing to develop multiple careers over your working life. It may be that you look at one or more part time roles. The key will be to develop and enhance qualities of creativity, agility, resilience and adaptability. Owen’s predicts that traditional entry-level jobs will disappear due to automation but that the rise of digital platforms will see us more and more working remotely in our careers.

In order to find a sustainable career path that will be resilient against the advancements of technology down the track, you will need to adapt and upgrade your skills on an ongoing basis. By continually looking to the future trends of technology and being able to offer a range of transferable skillsets, you will put yourself ahead in the workplace.

Recently separated? How to ensure a smooth and enjoyable Christmas for you and your family.

Christmas is a time for celebration, so make sure your separation doesn’t affect your Christmas cheer this year.

Dealing with separation over Christmas

Everyone enjoys their traditions at Christmas – whether it is Christmas Ham and salad, BBQ on the deck or lovely roast pork & turkey cooked in the oven with the aircon on full blast!

If you are recently separated, this year there will be new traditions. Whilst separation can be hard on the children, for some, there will at least be the thrill of having Santa visit twice!

However your children may spend time over the Christmas period with you and your former partner, it is important that, as much as possible, arrangements are made in advance to help make it a great time for them and reduce any prospect of stress for you. You deserve to be happy too!

So, what can you do to help ensure a smooth Christmas that your children can enjoy?

The key is planning, preparation and communication. Here is some helpful tips to get you through the holiday season:

– Communicate with your former partner what the agreement is for Christmas (the time for changeover, who is dropping or who is collecting your children etc.).

– Communicate with your children, ask them what they enjoy the most about Christmas and try to make it happen (remembering of course, that you are the parent! If it’s just not possible for a request to happen – communicate that with them).

– Communicate the arrangement with your family and visitors so they aren’t surprised when the kids pack up to leave for time with the other parent.

– Plan your day so that you have something to do after the children have left to spend time with your former partner. Surround yourself with friends or family or give yourself a special treat.

– Prepare as much as you can the day before so precious moments with your children aren’t wasted running around the house cleaning and cooking to be ready for Christmas celebrations.

Just remember – Christmas should be a happy time for you and your children. Try not to let your children pick up on any stress you may feel. A stressed parent means an anxious child and the only thing your kids should be anxious about, is whether or not Santa will be coming!

Divorce

What should you document to help you in getting a divorce in Qld?

Filing for divorce? It’s important to know what documents you should prepare in order to help you in your divorce hearing.

Getting a divorce in Qld

Getting a divorce in Qld?

If what you are wanting to obtain is a divorce, you will need to complete an Application for Divorce and file the Application and other required documents at the Registry of the Federal Circuit Court of Australia. The relevant divorce papers Qld and for Australia, can be downloaded from the Family Law Courts website
www.familylawcourts.com.au

In order to apply for a divorce in Australia, you must have lived separately and apart for a period of not less than twelve months before the date that your application for divorce is filed and there must be no reasonable likelihood of a reconciliation. Either you or your former partner must also satisfy certain requirements regards Australian residency, domicile or citizenship.

You will need to provide the Court with a copy of your marriage certificate when filing for divorce as well as an English translation and Affidavit from the translator if your certificate is not in English. You may also need to provide the Court with a copy of documents establishing Australian citizenship. Dependent upon your circumstances, there may be some further documents that the Court may require.

If you qualify for getting a divorce in Qld or another state, then provided that you supply the necessary information to satisfy the Court, provide the copy marriage certificate with the Application and meet any requirement for service of the Application on your former partner, in the usual case, you can generally expect that your application for a divorce will be granted. The information that is required for getting a divorce in Qld and other states is set out in the Application. You should obtain legal advice regarding whether in your circumstances, any further documents in addition to those identified in this article, may be required to be filed at Court.

You can make a sole Application or a joint Application which your former partner and you will both sign. If you make a sole Application, you must then arrange for the Application to be served on your former partner. There are specific requirements for service.

You will need to show in the Application that appropriate arrangements have been made for the welfare of dependent children but the granting of a divorce does not decide issues about arrangements for your children, property or maintenance.

If you have separated from your former partner, you will also need to make a property settlement which needs to be confirmed by a final and binding agreement. This can be done by obtaining Consent Orders which are issued by the Court but you do not need to go to Court to obtain them. You may also wish to have Consent Orders for arrangements for your children or a parenting plan That plan is not a legally enforceable document but can help with help with confirming arrangements for children that you and your former partner have agreed in principle.

For more information on getting a divorce in Qld or Australia, click here. Or contact our family lawyers today for a free 15 minute consultation.