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Our story

Our motivation came from seeing friends and family suffer through long and drawn out separations, damaging their relationships and denting their finances.

We discovered that the key is to make sure people have access to the right information as early in the process as possible.

Without this, people can be vulnerable and at risk of spending too much time and money, all of which adds to the stress. There are so many ‘unknown unknowns’ all adding to the anxiety.

And information about divorce is complex and hard to digest, so if you don’t have a law degree you can feel overwhelmed.

So we set out to come up with a better way through this tough time by establishing The Separation Guide and creating our interactive Q&A.

We hope to assist as many of the 200,000 Australians as we can who go through separation or divorce every year.

The Separation Guide does what the name suggests. It guides you through the divorce and separation process from start to finish.

It is not legal advice but it can refer you to legal advisors. It is a mediation and guided separation business which uses expert mediators and separation specialists (who are legally qualified) to help people reach agreements and settle disputes.

We are supported by local networks of lawyers, accountants, financial advisors, psychologists and counsellors – all services which tend to be necessary during separation and divorce.

Our quick 5 minute interactive Q&A explains the information you need to know and helps you make choices to save time and money.

So give it a go and let us know if we can help.

Jack Whelan and Angela and Ben Harbinson

The Australian Family Court System is under immense pressure, with extensive wait periods and high costs
The Australian Family Court system is under immense pressure, with long waiting lists and high costs.

This is the reason why the Australian Government has mandated the use of mediation as a means of resolving matters before they get to court.

It’s also another reason why we created The Separation Guide - to try and take as much pressure off the courts as we can.

We are experts in guided separation and mediation.

Find out more
We believe that where appropriate, the best outcomes are negotiated when the parties, and not the Courts, are in charge of your future.

The Separation Guide leads you through the maze connecting you and your partner with the information and services you need to take the right turns.

Our mediators and separation specialists are experts accredited by the Australian Commonwealth Attorney General’s Department and are legally qualified.

Find out about mediation & guided separation
Guided separation and mediation scale
Guided separation and mediation scale
About the founders

Jack Whelan is a barrister, nationally accredited mediator and accredited Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner.

He has been a Chief of Staff to the Commonwealth Attorney General and so has seen up close just how much stress the Australian Family Law system is under. Jack has also been a senior adviser to an Australian Prime Minister and two New South Wales Premiers.

Jack’s interest in family law comes from watching family members do it tough in a complicated and costly system.

In Jack’s words ‘There just has to be a better way to do this, so why don’t we create it?'

And then in discussions with Angela and Ben Harbinson The Separation Guidebegan its due diligence in 2017.

Angela Harbinson and Ben Harbinson own marketing, brand and digital agency Thirst Creative.

Angela is Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of The Separation Guide and Managing Director of Thirst Creative.

Throughout her career she has owned and operated multiple consulting businesses, and has worked as a marketer for professional services firms in the legal, accounting and banking sectors. She is a strategist, and an experienced operations manager with a strong track record for delivering for clients, leading high performing teams and building a culture of success.

She and her partner Ben have a successful partnership in life and business. Like many others, they have seen family and friends go through terrible breakups and saw this as a process that was ripe for disruption. Working with Jack they identified how their combined skill sets could create something that would positively impact on society by changing the way people experience separation.

Angela and Ben said that ‘This project aims to reduce the complexity of divorce and separation, stripping legal jargon and making it easier to navigate this challenging time in people’s lives. We are delighted to be a part of it and really hope it helps a lot of people through the maze.’