We have developed the 7 Cs to simplify and help you through your separation and divorce. The 7 Cs are not in reference to a legal term but rather a holistic approach to moving through the separation and divorce journey. It is a systematic way that is practical and deals with where you are now right through to achieving a final legal outcome and creating your best life into the future. Why the 7 Cs? Well C is a fabulous letter for obvious reasons, including champagne!
The 7 Cs are:
Compassion – for yourself and where you are now in your life today;
Cleverness – being clever and savvy in your actions;
Clarity – knowing the law and where you stand;
Communication – reaching a final outcome through negotiations;
Certainty – sealing the deal in a legally binding way;
Creativity – creating your new future;
Celebration – embracing where you have come from and your new future.
This blog is divided into seven sections, where we will dive into each of the Cs.
SECTION 1: COMPASSION
It is important that you give yourself time and accept where you are right now. You cannot change the past, and you cannot predict the future: you only have now. When you are going through a break-up from a long-term relationship, it can be devastating.
You are going to have to come to accept the new life you have. It takes time and skills you may not have unlocked yet. In the section of this book headed ‘Compassion’, I cover a lot of information that is from my own experience of going through a separation and divorce, as well as my observations as a family lawyer of my clients and what I think makes the journey easier.
SECTION 2: CLEVERNESS
When you are going through a separation, it is important that you are clever and protect yourself while remaining cool and calm. As a divorce law firm, we see, all too often, people being stupid, erratic, toxic and crazy. Acting out in any of these ways does not achieve outcomes, does not protect you and does not fix the problems or resolve issues.
SECTION 3: CLARITY AROUND LEGAL ISSUES
It is really important that you have clarity around your legal issues. You should understand your rights and your obligations. Knowing your position will help you to make wise decisions as you move through your separation and divorce.
Without clarity around your legal position, you are walking through your separation and divorce blind. You deserve a fair and equitable property settlement, and your children deserve what serves their best interests.
SECTION 4: COMMUNICATION AND NEGOTIATING AN OUTCOME
You may know all of your legal entitlements and obligations, but if you don’t know how to negotiate or communicate with your ex-partner, you will not be able to finalise your separation in an effective way.
Communicating with an ex-partner can be the pits — it can easily be the worst part of the process, particularly if it is unproductive and damaging.
SECTION 5: CERTAINTY AND SEALING THE DEAL
Sealing the deal in a full and proper way legally will give you certainty as you move into the future and create your new life. Many people who go through separation and divorce reach agreement on how to move forward, but then they fail to finalise it in a legal way. This exposes them to financial claims in the future or to changes in parenting arrangements as the parties’ lives change.
Having certainty means this can’t happen, or, at least not as easily.
SECTION 6: CREATE YOUR BEST LIFE EVER
As a lawyers, we understand that we often deal with the legal issues and then wish you good luck for the future, feeling our job has been done. The legal work may be done, but you still have the task of working through many more details before the experience is properly behind you.
Where you have been left financially, what your dreams and goals are, what about love in the future, how to trust again, healing your heart, ongoing communication with your ex-partner and doing a good job in your new co-parenting role are just a few of the elements discussed in this section.
SECTION 7: CELEBRATION
The seventh C is celebration. What a fabulous word and a wonderful way to start your new chapter. We don’t celebrate in life enough: we move through our lives and don’t stop to appreciate ourselves, having ditched the old rites of passage without replacing them with new ones. You are a separation and divorce survivor, and it is not a small feat to get through this process. You are stronger than you have ever been, you are braver than you have ever been, and you are wiser than you have ever been. Celebrate how fabulous you truly are!
Not only that; after you get through your journey, you will have a new life — definitely a reason to celebrate.