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What is guided separation and how does it work?

Sometimes a couple will approach a separation or divorce amicably, meaning there is enough goodwill and honesty and a mutual desire to move forward on the best terms possible. There may also be a shared appreciation that it is important to keep costs down, so if this is the case, guided separation may be the best option.

In cases like this, you and your partner can be assisted by separation specialist to:

  • understand your assets and liabilities
  • identify your own entitlements and future needs
  • determine the needs of your children
  • determine how property and custody can be sensibly agreed.

Guided separation involves a trained, independent expert helping you and your partner reach an outcome together under your instructions.

It can be done in joint meetings or by the separation specialist ‘shuttling” between you and your partner in person or remotely.

If required and necessary, the separation specialist can liaise with accountants and financial planners to help you reach the best settlement you can.

Guided separation enables the matter to be resolved without going to court and puts you and your partner in charge of your own futures. This is a virtue it has in common with mediation.

So how does guided separation work?

A typical guided separation process consists of the following steps:

  • Pre-guided separation discussions where you and your partner individually share your concerns with the separation specialist.
  • Preparation for the guided separation where you each consider your positions.
  • The joint guided separation session.

The actual guided separation is chaired by the separation specialist and follows the process of:

  • Separation specialist opening
  • you and your partner sharing your own stories and needs
  • Separation specialist summary
  • identification of issues for resolution
  • exploration of issues
  • generation of options
  • negotiation around the various options
  • resolution/agreement.

At the end of the guided separation, you will receive a Guided Separation Agreement documenting what you agreed in the session. The Guided Separation Agreement is a binding agreement which can be registered before the courts.

The Separation Guide separation specialists are trained Family Dispute Resolution Practitioners who are also legally qualified.

To find out what is the best process for you use the interactive Q&A here:

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