Separation and Divorce usually have significant financial consequences for couples and their children. There needs to be discussion about the cost of running two households, supporting children at their current standard of living, housing options and retirement planning. Whatever way the roles in a family have been divided in the past, separation usually means that there will be changes to the role of each partner or parent in the future. For the average family, this is a time to think about maximising total family income.
Working collaboratively with a partner to think about identifying employment skills for a return to paid work, increasing work hours, improving qualifications, employment seniority and income all have the potential to improve the finances across both households, and to benefit every family member. Generally, Court-based decisions do not look at the financial future of each individual in a sophisticated way, and this has encouraged a culture of blaming or ignoring difference in earning status and capacity. It is much healthier in every sense for couples to join forces to fund and support one or both of them to re-establish or improve work potential.
Here in Melbourne, there is a recently established, innovative business which aims to assist with careers after separation. As a collaborative lawyer, I see this as a perfect opportunity to add to the collaborative agenda a discussion about funding a small, short-term investment for a large long-term gain for everyone in a family.
Have a look at www.careersindependence.com.au
by Marguerite Picard, Family Divorce Lawyer, Melbourne, VIC