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Separation could quite possibly cause you to feel the worst you have ever felt in your life. We hope the following information might assist you.

The Stages of separation

If you are lucky at the end of a relationship, you might just feel relief. But for many, separation is like a death – the end of a life as you knew it – and with that comes grief.

It might help to recognise the stages of grief, which applied to a separation might look like this:

  • Shock and denial – how can this be happening? Especially when you are not the instigator of the breakup or even worse, was not expecting it.
  • Anger and blame – your former partner, another person
  • Sadness and depression

Then comes the healing: Acceptance that the relationship is over and with that, the ability to move on. It’s good to realise that you might be at different stages  – you have moved on but the other partner is still angry or sad.


Talk to friends and family. Get professional help. Get your children help through their school or through a specially designed program such as those run by Relationships Australia – see the link:

Children will also be affected by separation. They can be surprised, angry, sad, confused, insecure, frightened, and also grieving for the loss of the family. They can feel responsible, and might start behaving differently at school and home.

The best thing you can go for your kids is protect them from your grief and most importantly from your conflict with the other parent.

And remember – it will get better. We like this quote – “HOPE – Hold. On. Pain. Ends.”

Practical things to consider when you first separate

The immediate things are:

  • who will stay in the house?
  • who will pay the rent or mortgage?
  • What about other bills, debts, school fees?
  • How will I financially support myself?
  • where will our children live and with which parent?
  • Safety
  • What happens to our money?
  • what will happen to other property?

Getting help

  • Family Relationship Centres
  • Separation counselling or mediation
  • Legal information
  • Legal advice
  • Child Support Agency
  • Centrelink/Family Assistance Office


Visit the Collier Family Law website or read more HERE.