27 July 2018

5 Ways to Assist a Loved one Through Separation

Separation is one of the most difficult things an individual can go through.  It is understandable that you, as a loved one of a person going through a separation, want to be there and show your support.  As family lawyers we see how important the support of loved ones is during separation.  Here are a few tips on how you can be there for your friend or family member during a separation:


Your loved one will talk to you when they are ready, and you should be prepared to listen.  A lot of the time listening will be the best thing you can do for the person.

Be Positive

Try to focus on being positive.  Don’t raise your own grievances regarding the separation; be neutral, separation is not a competition.  It is not uncommon for the loved ones of a person going through a separation to express their own negative opinions regarding the separation, and the conduct of one party.  This will only make it harder for your loved one to make decisions to make them move forward.

Don’t Give Legal Advice

Don’t give advice that you are not qualified to give.  Instead, assist your loved one to obtain the services they need to assist them to move forward, whether it be legal advice from a lawyer or counselling from a psychologist.

Be There

Separation is not just the loss of your significant other, but can also be a loss of lifestyle, friends, family, financial support and dreams.  After separation people often feel very lonely and isolated.  They go from having someone they share all their time with, to having to get used to going it alone.  Only, they are not alone.

Encourage your loved one to spend time doing things for themselves that they may not have been able to do during the relationship.  Check in regularly with your loved one and be inclusive, spend time with them and make an effort to invite them to your own social events and to reconnect with their friends.

Find Support for Yourself

If you are a loved one of someone going through a separation, then it is likely that you too have lost a relationship or friendship as a result. You may have lost a sister or brother-in-law or a daughter or son-in-law, and this is significant.

Make sure that you look after yourself and have someone (other than the person going through the separation) that you can talk to and who can support you through the separation.  If you have a person who you can express any grievances with and discuss the separation with, then it is more likely that you can be positive around your loved one.

For more information regarding your family law matter, please contact our family law department.

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