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According to the Holmes-Rahe Life Stress Inventory, divorce comes in at the second most stressful life event closely followed by the almost identical event of marriage separation; these events only being less stressful or traumatic than the death of a spouse. So, while the festive season should be a time of celebration with those close to us, there are some of us facing the reality that what was once our reality, may now be gone.

Tips to help you cope with Christmas after separating from your partner

DO – talk to someone.  Whether it be a family member, close friend or a professional. If you feel more comfortable talking to someone other than a person in your close circle, we recommend the services of Relationships Australia on 1300 364 277. We also reccommend Family Relationship Advice Line on 1800 050 321 or Lifeline on 13 11 14.

DON’T – over-indulge. While we don’t want to sound like the fun police, our experience suggests that if you are facing the breakdown of a relationship, very few good decisions come from a place of overindulgence. This doesn’t just include any form of alcohol or drugs, but spending and eating too.

DO – get some legal advice. Even if the separation is amicable, you should still get some advice about your rights in relation to both children and property matters. In some circumstances, an hour-long consultation with your family law lawyer may suffice.

DON’T – post anything derogatory on Facebook or any other social media medium. More and more of this content is being used in evidence against parties in litigation proceedings.

DO – understand things will get better. With the help of friends, family, health professionals and of course with some expert legal advice, you will get through this tough time.