Separation – It’s a team effort

Family law matters are emotionally charged as parties have invested themselves, both emotionally and financially in a relationship with a person whom they thought they would always be with and when this is pulled out from underneath them, it is the separation that puts a strain on one’s mental well-being.

When it comes to separation, it is our view after many years of practicing in family law, that it involves a “team effort” when it comes to getting a person through the many stages of separation, particularly the early stages. In some respects, it is similar to the old adage, it takes a village to raise a child. In the instance of family law, it is our view that it takes a number of different supporters, or a “whole team” to help a person cope through each stage of a separation.

When we speak with our Clients about who may form part of their “team” members usually include family members and close friends for emotional support, for accompanying them to appointments and for just being there to talk with when needed. Medical and allied health professionals also form an integral part of the “team” to assist a person with any treatment or counselling they may require, including the confidential discussion of matters that a person may not feel comfortable in discussing with family or friends. The final member of the “team” is a Family Lawyer to assist in providing advice as to a person’s rights, obligations and entitlements in plain English and not legalistic language and to navigate them through the legal process.

It is important for people to be aware that there is no shame in seeking help from a medical or allied health professional when it comes to helping cope with separation and in our view, such practice should be considered by the community as the “norm”. Whether you are going through a separation or whether you are helping a person through this stage in their life, we would recommend that a good place to start for separated persons is to have a chat with their General Practitioner. A General Practitioner can assist in discussing options, including counselling, alternative treatments and prescription medications. In many cases, a General Practitioner can prepare a Mental Health Plan on  a person’s behalf which can provide for such treatment, or at least a portion of such treatment, to be covered by Medicare.

If you are not willing to speak with your General Practitioner, there are a number of services available by telephone, some of which include:

Lifeline – 13 11 14

MensLine – 1300 78 99 78

Relationships Australia – 1300 36 42 77

BeyondBlue – 1300 22 46 36

Should you, a family member or friend need legal assistance, please contact our office on telephone (07) 5679 8016, for a free fifteen minute telephone discussion with a Solicitor, so you may determine whether we may be the right fit to be part of your “team” to help you through this stage in your life.

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