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The end of a marriage or long-term partnership involves a great deal of upheaval. While making a divorce official is simple in a legal sense, the stress usually comes from dividing your belongings, figuring out financial support and deciding how to care for your children (if you have them).

Some couples can’t reach an agreement on their own. If this is the case, a judge may be called on to make a final decision about asset division, custody etc.

Here are some tips from a Gold Coast divorce lawyer that explain what’s involved with a formal separation and how you can avoid going to court.

What happens after you separate?

Most couples separate after being together for many years. They have often purchased property together, merged their finances, adopted an animal and started raising a family. Each has also contributed to the relationship in different ways, either financially or by supporting the other person in their career.

When you separate, you have to decide:
  • What to do with your property
  • How to divide your cash and other assets
  • Who will take care of the children and when
  • If one partner needs to support the other financially
  • Some aspects of your children’s’ future (e.g. whether they will go to private schools and who will cover the cost)

Regardless of how you make the decision, you should have everything officially documented with the help of your Gold Coast divorce lawyer. This will ensure everything is legally binding.

How to avoid divorce court

People end up in court if they cannot agree on how their assets will be divided, but there are plenty of options to keep you away from a judge.

Your first option is to discuss everything and make a decision as a couple. If your separation is amicable and you don’t have a lot of assets between you, this can be a straightforward process. Take note that while a handshake agreement can feel friendly, you still need to have everything in writing.

You could also work with a mediator. This person can help you decide who is entitled to what, who requires financial support from the other partner and how the children will be cared for. A mediator can explain things clearly and help to remove the emotion from the negotiation process.

The next step is to ask a lawyer to help you resolve everything with your former partner. Divorce lawyers understand what’s generally considered to be ‘fair’ in terms of a separation because they have helped so many couples to go through the process.

Working with a Gold Coast divorce lawyer can be helpful if you no longer feel comfortable around your partner. You don’t necessarily have to be present during negotiations. If you each have a lawyer, they will represent your best interests and work to reach a mutually beneficial outcome.

There are costs involved with seeing a lawyer, but this professional can help ensure you don’t miss out on funds you’re entitled to. Your lawyer will make sure all money is accounted for during negotiations and check that calculations in terms of financial support are correct. If you suspect your ex won’t do the right thing by you, a lawyer can save you many thousands of dollars.

Going to divorce court

If you and your ex can’t reach an agreement with the help of a lawyer, the next step is divorce court. This is a costly process and it can take a great deal of time before your court date arrives. Often, the judge’s decision will be what your lawyers have recommended anyway.

Awaiting your hearing date can be very stressful. While many people believe the purpose of a divorce lawyer is to represent you in court, the goal is actually to ensure you don’t end up there in the first place.

Avoiding court

Here’s how to stay away from the judge:

  • Listen to your lawyer. They know the outcomes of past court cases and will give you advice accordingly. They will also let you know if your wishes aren’t reasonable.
  • Don’t attend negotiation sessions if you’re worried you will get angry and make the wrong decisions.
  • Take a short break. It’s good to have your divorce resolved quickly but having a little time out to think and regroup may help you reach a resolution.
  • Be willing to compromise. It’s not about ‘winning’. It’s about finding a good outcome so you can both move on with your lives.

Divorce is never pleasant but ending up in court adds to the financial and emotional pressure. An experienced and reliable Gold Coast divorce lawyer will do everything in their power to save you from reaching this point.

Need advice to avoid divorce court? Book your free 45 minute appointment with a Gold Coast lawyer from Crest Lawyers today.

Disclaimer: The content contained in this news post is general in nature and is intended to provide a general summary only and should not be relied on as a substitute for legal advice.