Family Law

5 Tips to help you through a separation

Going through separation and divorce can be one of the most painful and distressing times that you have experienced, regardless of whether or not you initiated the separation. Here are a few tips to help make your life a little bit easier whilst going through this difficult period.

  1. Try to relax and look after yourself

Feeling angry, confused, frustrated and concerned is perfectly normal during separation and divorce, because separation can involve the loss of the usual family structure and routines, the family home, daily contact with your children and financial security. To be able to deal with all aspects of the issues that arise after separation, you may find it helpful if you can relax and try to avoid the negative emotions that may impact on your rational decision-making ability. It would be helpful if you could find the time to look after yourself and continue to do the things you enjoy, as this will assist you to look after your children. Don’t forget, your children are dependent on you, they can be very vulnerable and have different emotional reactions towards the relationship breakdown between you and your former spouse. How you cope with the break-up will directly affect your children. Therefore, maintaining your health and well being is one of the most important things that you can do during separation and divorce.

  1. Ask for help

You may have mixed feelings and struggles about the separation and divorce, don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need to. You will notice that people around you can be quite supportive, whether they are your friends and family, neighbours or work colleagues. Asking for help sometimes might just simply mean to talk to people about how things are for you, to have someone listening to how you feel.

  1. Be there for your children

Children react to separation in different ways depending on their age and how both parents manage the situation. Most children will feel confused and have fears and strong feelings about their parents’ separation. Younger children will often experience separation anxiety. Remember, these are normal reactions to a stressful and uncertain situation. The best thing you can do for your children is to be available for them when they need you, manage their expectations and help them to adjust to the changes at home. Depending on the age and maturity of the children, you may wish to tell your children about the separation, to reassure them both mum and dad love them as always and the break-up is not their fault.

  1. Try to reach agreements with your former spouse

Going to court can be expensive and time consuming to resolve parenting and financial disputes in family law matters. Even though you may wish to deal with your former spouse at a minimum level, you remain linked to each other as parents if you have children.  Being able or willing to negotiate with your former spouse is a good start to resolving issues. If you find it difficult to talk to each other direct, you may benefit from the assistance of a third party such as a mediator. Both parenting and financial matters can be resolved by both of you mutually accepting the arrangements agreed upon. Such agreements can be formal or informal; however, agreements that are formalised by a court are legally binding. You may need to seek assistance from a lawyer to help with agreements and arrangements.

  1. Seek proper legal advice

Separation and divorce can be complex with respect to parenting and financial matters. Click here for more detail about the various aspects of family law.  Even if you and your former spouse or partner are able to reach agreement, it is still important to seek proper legal advice from a family lawyer. Our lawyers at De Saxe O’Neill Lawyers are highly experienced in all aspects of family law and we are able to assist you with your queries.

If you would like further information please telephone us on (02) 9948 3820.



  • The Law sociaty of NSW
  • Doyles - Family Law 2020
  • Doyles - Family Law 2022
  • Family Law Section - Law Council of Australia - Member 2021/2022
  • Collaborative Professionals (NSW) inc

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