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SingleMum.com.au Family Law Articles

Expert Opinion Panel
Pamela Cominos - Lawyer


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10 Tips to Help You Get Through Your Divorce

Pamela Cominos, Lawyer | 18 August 2013



A meaningful relationship - Stock Photo

...written as both a woman who has experienced divorce

and as an Australian Family Law Solicitor...


Anyone who has been or is going through a Divorce knows how incredibly stressful this period of one's life is. Often it is not just that we have ourselves to care for but we have children, pets and financial obligations to third parties that we must meet.

The following article has been written from my perspective as both a woman who has experienced divorce and is a single parent and as a woman who practices as a Family Law Solicitor in Sydney.

Through my professional experiences over the many years of practising Family Law, the following are 10 tips to help you get through your divorce.

  1. We all know that divorce is an extremely emotional and transitional experience in any woman's life, so it is essential that you take exceptional care of your health and well-being, first and foremost. Gentle exercise such as walking, yoga and meditation are very useful way of relieving the stress and enabling you to make decisions about your future.

  2. Get professional counselling if you feel that you are not coping. Relationships Australia is a wonderful organisation that offers supportive and therapeutic counselling for people experiencing relationship difficulties and fees are subsided according to your income. They can be contacted on 02 83622888 or www.relationships.org.au

  3. An important rule that you should follow is to never correspond with your ex if you are feeling angry, annoyed or upset. This correspondence can be used against you if the matter every progresses to litigation, and often once we have cooled down and collected our thoughts we realise that the correspondence we sent was really unnecessary. If you need to vent or express your anger, which is totally understandable, call a friend or go for a walk.

  4. Choose your lawyer very carefully. Ensure that they have experience in family law matters. If upon meeting them you are not convinced that they have the experience, empathy or communication skills that you require, don't be afraid to move on.

  5. Similarly, if you already have a lawyer and feel that they are not looking after you - not answering or returning your calls, not listening to your needs - then again, don't feel as if you have to remain with them - you don't. Remember this is your matter and your life and you need the best lawyers around you.

  6. If you have children, don't forget them. Their needs are very important and if they are old enough to understand then it is important to explain to them as calmly and as impartially as possible what is happening - and what changes they might expect. It is important not blame the children, or leave them feeling like they are responsible for the divorce. Children need to feel secure and loved - even more so in these changing times.

  7. The Family Law legislation adopts the principle that "the best interests of the child" is paramount when dealing with children and parenting arrangements.

  8. If you do have children, contact Family Relationship Centres at www.familyrelationships.gov.au to arrange mediation with their qualified mediators if required. You will receive professional and practical advice as to how to co-parent your children, and hopefully come up with a parenting plan for the care arrangements of the children. Mediation is not suitable for all parents, such as those where family violence is an issue, or if one parent is not contactable.

  9. If there are issues of family violence (emotional, psychological, physical or other abuse) and you feel frightened of your ex, then contact your local police station for assistance and contact your family lawyer immediately to discuss the issues.

  10. Finally be commercially savvy, in other words consider all options for settling your property matter without going to Court.

The above information is intended to be of a general nature only. If you require assistance with your divorce or family law matters, contact and speak with a Family Law solicitor.

Pamela Cominos
M.A Dip Ed LLB (UNSW)
Principal Family Lawyer - Cominos Lawyers







Have your say on this article - make a comment below!


View Pamela Cominos' full Profile

About Pamela Cominos

Pamela Cominos is the Principal Family Lawyer at Cominos Lawyers, Sydney who specialise in all aspects of Family Law. She is also a member of the SingleMum.com.au Expert Opinion Panel.

Pamela holds a Masters of Arts degree together with a Bachelor of Laws Degree from University of New South Wales.
Pamela is passionate about being a lawyer and she is successful in assisting her clients in matters that involve complex parenting and property issues. Pamela is a skilled advocate and will represent you at Court with confidence and care. She is a pragmatic and compassionate solicitor who gives her undivided attention to your matter.
Pamela is committed to her family law practice and in particular women in domestic violence. She is on the legal aid Family Law Panel and is a referral solicitor for a number of Women's Refuges in NSW. You can read Pamela Cominos' full profile here



Read more SingleMum.com.au exclusive Family Law articles

This article may not be reprinted, reproduced, or retransmitted in whole or in part without the express written consent of SingleMum.com.au. This article contains only general information. For advice regarding your own personal circumstances, always seek individual advice from a qualified professional. Read the full Singlemum.com.au Disclaimer here



What does it mean to be a single mum?Of course, the

kids

are the most important thing in a single mum's life. Kids are the focus and always have been. But along with the children, there are other matters that can confuse a single mum's life.

Centrelink

plays a big part of a single mother's life, mainly because this is where a large percentage of single mums get their finances from. Centrelink are the source from where the

single mother pension

, or as it is otherwise known, the single parent payment comes from. The single mother pension is a subsistence amount, but just the same, it is money to live on, and so it is important, no matter if it is called single parent payment, single mother pension or whatever Centrelink welfare classes it at the time

Often, single mums come out of a

divorce

or defacto relationship only to find that their troubles have just begun, and find that their first step leads them towards Family Law - it's time to engage a lawyer.
There are more than just Centrelink finance problems to worry about, as mentioned before, but also

child custody

issues. Child custody is something that hits right at the heart of

single mums

. If a single mother's ex husband or ex partner has been a domestic violence perpetrator, the mum may be greatly worried about child custody. They worry that their kids won't be safe with their spouse, who has already proven to be abusive because they caused

domestic violence

, which resulted in a divorce or separation.

Even so,

Family Court

will often still order a form of child custody named

Shared Parenting

. Shared Parenting is a form of child custody division of time or parental responsibility between the parents. Mother's often look for a good divorce lawyer to try to avoid share parenting with an abusive ex-spouse after divorce, however in many cases Shared Parenting is still the outcome after the divorce, no matter how good the divorce lawyers have been. They will often settle for visitation at a contact centre or access centre where fathers or mothers are supervised during child custody access.

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