The breakdown of your relationship is likely to be one of the most emotional events in your life. It has been said that the only greater emotional event in your life is the death of a child and that the end of your marriage is more traumatic than the death of your partner.
The Family Law Act has been amended to provide that people affected by a separation seek to sort out parenting issues prior to going to Court by attending Family Dispute Resolution ("FDR") with an FDR practitioner. FDR can help people to agree on a variety of issues relating to their children. FDR services are provided by a range of individuals and organisations including Family Relationship Centres, community organisations such as Relationships Australia, Centacare and Anglicare and individual Family Consultants.
In addition to assisting with parenting matters, marriage counsellors or what are now more commonly called Family Consultants, can help couples facing separation improve their communication. Family Consultants ordinarily have a social work or psychology background and have the skills to assist couples engage with each other to reach resolution and move forward. Family Consultants have experience in counselling and therapeutic interventions to help clients. Family Consultants can work with couples to explore their goals, interests and concerns. Family Consultants can help a party reduce the resistance of the other party to engaging with counselling and paving a way for engagement to explore resolution in a Collaborative rather than conflictual manner.