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Thinking of separating? There are some basics you should know

By amica

Thinking of separating? There are some basics you should know

Deciding to separate is one of the hardest things you’ll ever do but moving on and making parenting and property decisions doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, the more information you have, the more confident you and your ex-partner can feel about moving on in an amicable way.

If you are thinking about separating, there are some basics you should know.

Separation is a separate process to divorce

Many people don’t realise that separation and divorce are different processes. Separation is the process of deciding that you won’t be a couple anymore and making decisions on things like your new living arrangements, how to divide your property and money fairly, as well as parenting arrangements if you have children.

Divorce involves filing paperwork with the court to legally end a marriage. It’s only required if you are legally married, and you must be separated for at least 12 months before you can apply for a divorce.

Separation can be amicable

When a relationship ends, some people feel a tremendous sense of relief and others find they get on better with their ex now they can be friends rather than life partners.

People who seem to manage the process well focus on an amicable separation that places respect and fairness ahead of winning at all costs. Hence the development of amica.

amica is an online tool that provides a way for amicable couples to discuss and agree on parenting, property and money decisions at their own pace.

Very careful attention was given to the choice of language used throughout amica to make it easy to use, and also to help couples keep calm as they make decisions together. amica provides a guided pathway, giving you information step-by-step to avoid becoming overwhelmed. It has lots of built-in help so that you can make parenting arrangements that work best for your family, like how you’d like to share special occasions and how you’d like to keep in touch about your arrangements going forward.

You don’t need a lawyer if your situation is straightforward

Lawyers help solve legal issues, but if you are on the same page as your ex-partner about separating fairly and amicably, you can often avoid the cost of a lawyer.

amica is supported by the Australian Government and has been designed by family lawyers to help guide separating couples through the process in an accurate, calm and fair way. It uses artificial intelligence to help couples work out how to divide their money and property fairly, by taking into account the length of the relationship, assets and earnings, age and health needs, contributions to the relationship, arrangements for taking care of children and future needs. Nothing is finalised unless you both give it a tick, so you both have a great sense of control and cooperation the whole way through the process.

There are some situations where you might need to get advice. amica’s website has an easy guide to help you decide whether amica is right for your situation, or whether your situation means you should get advice or other kinds of support, like counselling. It has a hub of helpful information that’s easy to read, with lot of links to help and support in every state and territory in Australia.

It’s ok to take your time

There is no time limit if a separating couple wants to reach an informal agreement between themselves without going to court. However, dragging out the process sometimes can make it harder to stay amicable. If you do end up wanting a court to make decisions for you, then some time limits do apply. The amica website has more information about these.

About amica

amica is a smart and simple online tool to guide separating couples through parenting, property and money decisions in an amicable way. Go to amica.gov.au.

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Thinking of separating? There are some basics you should know

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