In Australia, one in three marriages will end in divorce. This fact means that at any one time, thousands of Australian couples have to work through the process of separation, and eventually, divorce.
Although the total number of divorces has been declining over time in Australia, with fewer now than any time in the past 20 years – the statistic is particularly sobering because one in three people who get married in Australia will wind up separating at some point in the future.
When we look at our married friends around a dinner table of 12 people, it’s crazy to realise that there is the potential for two couples sitting in front of you to divorce within the foreseeable future.
So how can you help them (or yourself) get through a seamless separation?
Get help, if that doesn’t work….leave
As much as we would like to think we live inside a Disney story, in reality, there are pressures, issues, or just differences that drive people apart. Although some may be amicable, your first step should always be marriage counselling. If your relationship is beyond repair, then you should take action.
There is nothing healthy about sticking around and punishing yourself, your partner, your children or any friends and family witnessing your unhappiness. In most cases, the best course of action is to separate and leave the marital home before things get worse.
Get legal advice
A family law expert can guide you in the right direction to understand your legal rights, obligations and responsibilities when it comes to a separation. During the separation process, there will be a lot of emotionally charged conversations; a lawyer can see through this, provide sound advice and direction – regardless of if you go to court or not.
Look after the children
Remember, if you have children with your partner, their well being, both mentally and physically, should always come first. Your partner has a right to see children and vice versa, except in the case where there is any sort of domestic violence or abuse which should be appropriately addressed through legal and law enforcement channels.
Take the time to explain the change in circumstances to your children and understand that they need time to process the changes in their lives too.
Look after yourself
Finally, you must always look after yourself. If that means speaking to friends, a psychologist, joining a gym or undertaking a knitting class – then so be it. Separations are not just from a person, but a lifestyle, values and experiences you shared together. This will take time to process.