We often joke about the ‘D’ word (divorce) but for those of us who are or have experienced the breakdown of a family relationship it is anything but a humorous experience.
Divorce is an unpleasant experience and there are no winners. A successful divorce is not about winning battles but instead about resolving differences. Every 30 minutes an Australian child will experience the divorce of their parents.
Australian studies have shown that children who experience divorce are at risk of poorer outcomes in adult life than their peers who have not experienced family breakdown. Around 120,000 marriages occur in Australia in each year. In the same year around 50,000 marriages will come to an end. At least half of those families have children, meaning that, in each year 25,000 Australian families with children experience divorce. So, if we imagine that in each of these divorcing families there are two children, then in each week in our country 1,000 children are, through no fault of their own, put at risk of poorer outcomes in their adult life as a result of family breakdown.
Research has also shown that an amicable divorce between two parents will significantly reduce the chance of negative outcomes for children in adult life. Why then do so many parents continue to pursue a traditional legal divorce process that will ensure many thousands of dollars are spent, much time is wasted and their children’s future welfare is at risk?
For the past 13 years, Family Lawyer, Clarissa Rayward has seen the damage the traditional divorce process causes to both adults and children. “Divorce is not only emotionally and personally draining, it can be financially crippling if poor decisions are made. I believe, above all else, that our relationships with our loved ones are the most important things in our lives. By slowing down, working together and reducing conflict, families can come out of divorce ensuring that our children do not suffer.” As an Accredited Specialist in Family Law, Collaborative Lawyer and Mediator, Clarissa has seen the impact of separation and divorce on Australian families and our children. Her focus on keeping families out of the Family Courts is creating a new path for separating families that minimises the emotional and financial toll of divorce.
In her book Splitsville, Clarissa has provided a four step framework to ensure the readers experience of divorce is as pain free as possible. Divorce is said to be the second most difficult grieving event after only the death of a loved one. Divorce creates fear and uncertainty which quickly leads to conflict. By focusing on the big picture, the reader is armed with information that will enable them to finalise their separation and divorce without the need to go to Court- thereby saving not only money but more importantly minimising the personal damage that Court proceedings will cause.
Splitsville is a practical and concise guide for people in the throes of separation and divorce that can save time, money and will protect you and your family from unnecessary harm at this very difficult time. This book is written for Australian audiences and focuses on the Australian legal system.