Grief is a very powerful emotion & is part of the healing process after a de facto relationship breakdown. Grief can be especially evident as you finalise your de facto relationship property adjustment. You may find you grieve the loss of many aspects of your previous relationship including companionship, financial security and intellectual & social support. When you are going through a de facto relationship property adjustment you can find yourself literally at war with your ex partner while at the same time grieving the loss of the past relationship.
Allowing yourself time to work through the grief & loss is very important. It is also paramount that you focus on what matters most in the here & now, your financial future. Many people going through a de facto relationship property adjustment feel conflicted about making a claim for a property adjustment as they are still grieving the loss of their relationship. The two are separate issues and need to be managed that way. You can grieve the loss of your relationship and peruse a de facto property adjustment concurrently.
Here are some tips to help you:
Accept that there will be difficult times:
Ups and downs are normal & having conflicted emotions is par for the course. It’s important to identify and acknowledge these feelings. While these emotions will often be painful, trying to suppress or ignore them will only make the grieving process worse.
Accept that it is over:
Many people struggle to accept their de facto relationship breakdown and the end of the relationship. In part people do this because these thoughts create a sense of security and ease the burden of grief & the sense of loss. You must be honest with yourself about this and confront the end of your relationship heads on.
Talk about how your feelings:
Talk about your feelings with others. Make sure your close friends know what you are going through as this will help you feel supported & less isolated. If you don’t want to share your feeling with your friends then find a councilor you trust and attend regularly. This will help you move through the grieving process.
Identify all assets & liabilities:
This is important. Some partners are all about protecting assets in a de facto relationship. If this was the case in your past relationship you need to take stock of all assets and liabilities in either of your names and in joint names. This information will be important if you proceed with a de facto relationship property adjustment.
Moving on is the end goal:
You need to grieve your past relationship but you also need to keep in mind that moving on is the end goal. What matters most is that over time, you develop a balanced perspective about your past relationship. Don’t fall into the trap of being bitter or angry. This will only hold you back & prevent you from moving on.
Consult an Accredited Family Law Specialist:
Appointing an Accredited Family Law Specialist to either finalize your de facto separation agreement or to run your de facto property adjustment matter is crucial. Make appointments & interview at least five.
Your future is bright:
Letting go of all of the hopes & dreams you had for your past relationship is difficult. Try to focus on what the future has to offer not on the past. Be confident that a new door will open and that your future is bright. Be positive.
Gather evidence of the relationship:
Once you appoint your accredited Family Law Specialist they will ask you to gather any evidence you may have in your possession. This evidence will include: emails, texts, property purchased together or separately, any photographs of you as a couple with friends & family. Anything that supports your view of the emotional & financial makeup of the relationship such as bank statements, money transfers and significant purchases.
Normal reaction to a breakup:
You need to be vigilant & strong with yourself. A normal reaction to a breakup may include, stress, emotional outbursts, anger & grief. Depression is different. If you are struggling to work, can’t focus, feel like there is no hope or just don’t want to go on, you may be suffering from depression. You should visit your local GP and seek help from a qualified mental health professional.
Be upfront with your ex:
Have a forthright discussion with your ex partner once you have accepted the de facto relationship breakdown. It may be helpful to meet with your ex partner & let them know that you intend to seek a de facto property adjustment through the Courts.
I went through a de facto relationship breakdown about 3 years ago. My ex had an affair. We had been together for 5 years and had a house together. It was seriously the worst time of my life. Not only was I losing my partner of 5 years, she was taking off with a guy who was a mutual friend of ours.
There were days I couldn’t get out of bed. I was literally gutted. I went through a whole raft of emotions from anger to guilt to wanting to forgive her. It was bad.
Just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse my ex came to see me. She had a de facto separation agreement drafted up & wanted me to sign it…..on the spot!
It was like a light came on inside my head. The next day I went to see a Family Lawyer who gave me advice on the de facto separation agreement my ex wanted me to sign. Basically if I had of signed it I would have given up 75% of the house we purchased together with my own money!
The short of it is that I almost let the grief of losing her consume me. I couldn’t see what she was up to. That de facto separation agreement was the turning point for me as I could have signed it to appease her & I would have lost my house.
I am putting this up here because I want people to see how easy it is to be taken advantage of when you are grieving & cant see what’s really going on!
Remember, the information contained on the site does not constitute legal advice. If you think you need legal advice you should contact an Accredited Family Law Specialist.
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