22 July 2015 It's all in the timing

By Melanie Rubin

In Brief

You have heard it a thousand times before "Words once spoken can never be recalled."

When relationships come to an end, both parties often race to find a lawyer and stake their claim.  I highly recommend caution in this approach.  

The facts

In my experience it may do more harm than good to shoot off a letter from a lawyer too early. No matter how "gentle" the approach, it's still a lawyer's letter and will rarely be read with any of the tenderness you may have intended. 

Equally, a threatening letter may be similarly ineffective in achieving results.  These types of letters often get your matter off on the "wrong foot" and instead of resolving your issues it ends up costing you a lot of money and time as well as create emotional stress.

I advise my clients to prepare for war but hope for peace.  In preparing for war they are well prepared for what lies ahead but the trick comes in the hoping for peace. I encourage my clients to demonstrate that desire for peace in their actions – so talk the talk and walk the walk.  At the end of the day going to court has its place but the most satisfied clients are those who are able to avoid court and negotiate a resolution.

It's all in the way you set it up and in the timing of what you do.  Consult with a family lawyer who will empower you with knowledge and who will offer you strategies and options so you can select what will be best for your family. 

In this situation the timing always seems unfair.  During one of the most emotional and stressful times of your life you find yourself having to make big decisions with long term impacts while you may not  feel emotionally strong or be thinking logically.

My clients and I always agree, their world has just been turned upside down whether it was their decision to call it a day or not. 

Everyone needs time to adjust to their new realities.  Breathe calmly before jumping to conclusions and diving in hard.  Rethink and perhaps agree to take it slow and leave things much the same as they are so that you can both try and find a solution when you are in a better head space. Just give each other some breathing space.

Your next steps

Always remember it is not easy to backtrack once you have rocked someone's world.  Get practical and honest advice which is aligned to and assists you to identify your needs and values.  In this way, you will be able to come out the other end of a divorce/relationship breakdown with your dignity and family as in tact as possible with arrangements aligned to your needs and interests.

Getting to the end of a divorce with an empty tank (emotionally and financially) it not ideal. There usually is a better way; all you need is an overview of your options.  Finding a family lawyer who is able to help you navigate your way to pick the solutions that work best for you and your family will help you to move through this uncertain period of your life with greater clarity, renewed energy and excitement about the future that lies ahead.

For further information, please contact our family law team.

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This article is not legal advice and the views and comments are of a general nature only. This article is not to be relied upon in substitution for detailed legal advice.

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