Do you want to know what the true cost of separation is?

Separation & divorce is akin to a roller-coaster. The end of a relationship is such an emotional period in your life and can bring about significant anxiety and concerns. What do you do now? Where will you live? What happens to your house? What about your finances?

The cost of separation extends beyond the financial expenses of the legal process. The cost of separation can be much more.

For example, there are the financial costs (paying professionals who get involved). There could be tax consequences if you have to sell property. It may even impact your superannuation or pension benefits as well. But more than that there is the time it takes to go through this process. Including time off from work, away from your children, time to get your stuff together. Then there is the emotional cost, the pain when something is said or insinuated. The pain when you start to realise the future you had planned is not going to come to life. The pain when you realised all that you are or will be missing out on when the kids aren’t with you all the time. The cost of separation extends far beyond your bank account.

So what can you do to reduce how much separation actually costs you?

The current emphasis within our legal framework is mediation (or family dispute resolution (FDR)).You may be wondering why that is.  Especially when you ended a relationship because you can’t get on.   Doesn’t that contradict the very essence of why your relationship ended in the first instance?

Perhaps it does.  But more importantly than that though is the fact that we know that you are both still adults.  Each and every day you are able to make decisions and reach agreements with people other than your ex. Which means we know you can do this! We just need to keep the conversation focused and assist both of you in hearing what is said. Without the added emotions.

You see, mediation/FDR enables you both to have control over the outcome. When you can control the outcome the likelihood of those arrangements working for your family are far greater then when a court imposes the decision on you.  Nobody wins in that latter scenario. Especially the children.

From the outset mediation/FDR might seem expensive but ultimately if you can reach an agreement it will cost you significantly less financially and emotionally than the other options. 

How can mediation help to reduce the cost of separation?

Simple – we can organize mediation fairly quickly. For the most part, you have control over when and how it will take place.  If you want to reduce the financial cost even more, online mediation is a great option.  Contrast court or legal costs.  In this realm you will have to be available when the court directs, which will mean time off work.  You will have to attend court hearings either at the Court or through your solicitor which again will cost you more money and more time.  The process can often be long and dragged out.  So whilst a lawyer may only ask you for a small amount of money upfront – this will not be the only amount that they ask for if you start Court proceedings.   

That said, it’s important to speak with a lawyer before attending mediation/FDR. Knowing what to expect as an outcome is always a good idea.   Especially when it comes to your peace of mind that you are not being ripped off.

View mediation/FDR as the initial step toward rebuilding shattered trust.  It is the first opportunity that you both have to show each other that you will agree to something and stick by it.  It is the first opportunity to show each other and your children that you can “count on me” as a co parent. Court however can have the opposite effect and whilst you may be after pain and punishment then and there, in the long run this will not help those that call you mum and dad. 

If you would like to find out more about mediation and how it may help you can schedule a time to speak with Lorrie here.

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