Whether you have recently separated or have been separated for some time, you know when you are ready to resolve any issues you may have with your ex-partner, clean up your affairs, and move on with your life.

Depending on your situation and how you are coping emotionally, at this point you are probably looking for clear and accurate legal advice to help you finalise any differences and take control of your future.

You may be working through plans to care for the children; divide assets, businesses, and property in Australia or overseas; and make ongoing financial arrangements.

Whether you’re married, in a de facto relationship or same sex relationship, you may need highly-skilled, immediate legal advice to help you confidently work through some complex financial or emotional differences, to guide and help you make the best decisions for you and your family’s future.

With knowledge of the law and the practical know-how to apply it, your Jones Mitchell family lawyer will work with you to identify the most appropriate approach to resolve your differences quickly – whether it is negotiation or specific alternate dispute resolution approaches such as mediationarbitration, or early neutral evaluation; or in suitable cases a collaborative law approach. Only if necessary and when all other approaches are exhausted or inappropriate would we use our litigation experience and resources and go to court.

We will listen to your individual situation, and no matter how straight forward or complex,  navigate you through the maze of legal requirements of financial agreementschild support agreementsparenting plans, and divorce applications.

If conflict and emotions are high, you may find it more difficult to make important decisions and effectively problem solve. Children are particularly vulnerable and they can experience extreme stress if parents are unable to resolve conflict. During these times, we recommend you see a psychologist or relationships counsellor. Talk to your Jones Mitchell family lawyer if you would like a recommendation.

Case study – James, 53, separated and wants finality

James and his wife have been separated for three years. They have two older children – his son has left home and his daughter is in her first year of university. Since they have separated, James has continued to pay his wife’s living costs in the family home, the holiday home mortgage, as well as the rent for his own apartment. He runs a successful business and sees the kids when their schedules both allow. His wife was working in his business drawing an income, but has now not worked for two years. This status quo has been reasonably amicable.

James has recently started seeing someone seriously, and feels it is time to finalise his separation and get divorced. His accountant referred him to Jones Mitchell, as he has a highly successful business and much to lose. He feared his wife would not deal well with the prospect of changing the current arrangement and may not be coping with his new relationship. After being married for 18 years, he just wanted what was fair.

James met with a Jones Mitchell family lawyer wanting to understand the financial separation. He made it clear that he wanted advice to get his situation sorted without fuss. He particularly wanted to know what his obligations were to his wife and children – what does he have to do . A business man, he seemed to treat this as a financial problem and wanted a stepped process to reach an effective solution.

James’s meeting and the subsequent advice he received from Jones Mitchell helped him understand the separation process. He felt reassured that he had delegated the problem to be resolved by professionals who can find a solution to the complicated web of his personal affairs.

If you are separated and want to move on in your life and would like more information, visit our FAQs or contact us to speak with one of our experienced Jones Mitchell family lawyers.


Please note: Although this case study is based on a potentially real situation, it is hypothetical and is for illustrative purposes only. Every family law situation is unique. Consequently, our family law advice is tailored to each situation and individual outcomes will vary.