separation agreement

Take Care Of Yourself

A de facto relationship breakdown can be highly stressful & extremely challenging. Emotions run high as you negotiate your separation agreement and start to plan the next phase of your life as a single person. During this time it is important that you take care of yourself both psychologically and physically while managing the legal processes around the end of your relationship. Some people find themselves emotionally vulnerable and struggle to cope with simple daily tasks & challenges. While others slip into emotional over drive and want to be “everywhere” to show friends & family how well they are coping.

Cohabitation agreementProperty division when de facto relationships breakdown can be difficult. Some people worry about their future, legal costs and will they ever find love again. During this period you need to focus on two outcomes, negotiating your separation agreement and managing your personal well being. Give yourself a mental “time out” and treat yourself with kid gloves. Irrespective of where you are at negotiating your de facto property settlement, try and rest, don’t allow additional stress in your life, and if possible work less. Just “do you” for a while and be selfish with your time & energy.

Learning to focus on your personal wellbeing while managing the processes around the end of your relationship can be one of the most valuable lessons you learn following a breakup. Allow yourself to feel the emotions of your loss and begin to learn from the experience and identify how to make positive choices going forward. One of those choices might be a de facto financial agreement in your next relationship.

Tips to help you care for yourself & manage the legal processes around the end of your relationship:

Nurture yourself:

This can take many forms, walking, listening to music, a hot bath, a massage, reading a good book, a yoga class, or enjoying a warm cup of tea. The point is that you need to take the time to nurture yourself.

Legal advice:

If you are seeking a property settlement from your ex de facto partner you will need legal advice from an Accredited Family Law Specialist. Shop around & find a Family Lawyer who is an accredited specialist and who you feel comfortable with.

Pay attention to your needs:

Express your needs. Stay true to what you believe to be right and best for you. Learn to say “no” without feeling guilty.

Write it down:

Writing things down will help you keep your thoughts in order and help you better manage your time with your Family Lawyer. Make note of the questions you want answered & add them to the list as different question arise. This will help you stay on point when you meet with your solicitor.

Routine matters:

A de facto relationship breakup can disrupt your life, amplifying feelings of stress, uncertainty, and chaos. Getting back to a regular routine can provide a comforting sense of structure and normalcy.

Run your matter:

This is relevant to people going through a property division when de facto relationships breakdown and the matter is contested. It is your matter. You must actively engage with your Family Lawyer & help them develop your case.

Time out:

Don’t make any major decisions immediately after a separation, like starting a new relationship or moving interstate. If you can, wait until the emotional turmoil has subsided so that you can make better choices.

Document everything:

This is relevant to people going through a de facto property settlement. Document any contact you have with your ex partner. Keep all text messages & emails. Make notes of what he/she says to you if you are still in communication.

Avoid alcohol & other substances:

When you’re in the middle of a breakup, you may be tempted to try and relieve feelings of pain and loneliness. Using alcohol, drugs, or food as an escape is unhealthy and destructive in the long run. It’s essential you find healthier ways of coping.

Manage legal costs:

This is relevant to people going through a de facto property settlement. Your matter be running on account or you may be paying your legal fees as you incur them. The important thing is that you need to manage these costs. Request monthly statements from your Family Lawyer if you are running on account. Track your contact time with your Family Lawyer. Keep in mind your Family Lawyer is not your friend or psychiatrist. They are there to do a specific job for you.

New interests:

A breakup is a beginning as well as an end. Take the opportunity to explore new interests and activities while saying goodbye to the past. Pursuing fun, new activities gives you a chance to enjoy life in the here-and-now, rather than dwelling on the past.

Prepare for court appearances:

Again, this is relevant to people going through a property division when de facto relationships breakdown. You may see your ex partner in Court. Prepare yourself for this. No matter what you hear said about you in Court by the opposing legal team, do not react. Remain calm & composed at all times while in Court.

Do you:

When you’re going through the stress of a breakup, you might find yourself not eating at all or overeating your favorite junk foods. Exercise might be harder to fit in because of the added pressures at home and sleep may be disrupted. Do you by ensuring you make long-term healthy lifestyle choices.

separation agreementPersonally, I think the most stressful time was when we were trying to negotiate our separation agreement & finish our de facto property settlement. I felt this sense of panic in that one door to my old relationship was closing but no new doors had opened for me. I was terrified!

I started taking time just for me. I started running again and met some new people. I got super organized at home too. I think the main thing that I learnt is that control matters to me. I felt better when I was in control of my own outcome.

I actually remember the shift in my thinking taking place. I went from feeling & thinking “poor me” to “I’ve got this”. There were plenty of times when I didn’t feel positive but I forced myself to look at the bigger picture & focus on my outcome. The result came!

If you are experiencing difficulties moving on from a de facto relationship break down you should engage a qualified councilor or mental health professional and ensure you get the support you need.

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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