Being… 5 Key Strategies and Lessons Learned During Separation

lorisa stein being 5 key strategies and lessons learned during separationThe breakdown of your relationship may never happen. For some, the knowledge that this relationship is finally over brings joy and freedom. For those committed to a prenup, the ‘stop date’ may have been planned and anticipated.

For many others, flooding emotional responses may take over. Separation experienced as a devastating event raises questions about decisions made, what future financial stability needs to look like, and even whether friendship alliances will be able to support them until they feel confident to stand on their own two feet.

In each scenario, looming the legal issues such as how to deal with the house and the family enterprise, how much is sufficient support for yourself or the other spouse and the children, and other concerns move into view. Moving between anxiety and the need to make durable decisions gave rise to these strategies of being from client who experienced an unexpected separation.

The strategies and lessons learned from my clients suddenly finding themselves separating were developed and shared with me as I guided them with family law legal advice for close to 30 years of practice. They shared with me their journeys through their separation concerns keeping them up at night, the little victories they savoured, and why certain strategies are favoured year, in year out.

  1. Being able to understand their emotional reactions helped them to find and employ simple coping habits. Those habits helped them secure a feeling of calmness to continue to nurture their children and quell their anxieties during this period of change. It helped them to honour their decisions to take time for self care. They also cleared their mind to be able to provide instructions to their family law lawyer and better weigh the choices presented to them at every stage of the negotiation process to conclusion.
  2. Being present helped them place logical thinking center stage to work through the tough decisions like safe and predictable parenting arrangements and to weigh outcomes impacting their future. Logical thinking helped them keep their focus to develop and maintain sound strategies around what financial stability for the new households should look like, reimagined shared ownership of the family business, and organized new educational pursuits.
  3. Being open minded helped their creative thinking to unlock roadblocks arising during the separation agreement negotiation, to look at possibilities for future relationships of their family members to celebrate milestones and endure all of life’s surprises. It helped them Rubick’s Cube® all sides of a problem to uncover new scenarios and recombine parts of different options to finesse a unique solution for their lives.
  4. Being able to share their fears with their network of friends, family, and others opened their eyes to the value of receiving support when they did not realize they needed it. That support helped them acknowledge the possibility of incredible solutions when problems overwhelmed them. Telling these valuable connections what they needed was a brave step. Understanding that they were not alone and that others had been through traumatic times of their own built strength and a sense of companionship.
  5. Being brave enough to to ask for help to be able to see through to the other side. They understood that their circumstances were not and were not permanent. They did not feel defined by them. They acknowledged their personal history of incredible life lessons that they could rely on and continued to pass on to their children and share with others.

Your family law lawyer will offer their experiences and share their knowledge, best practices and how judges may have decided situations similar to yours. Negotiation offers more creative avenues to consider and develop your separation agreement with the support, foresight, and extensive experience of a senior family law lawyer. Lorisa Stein can be reached at or through her website Her direct line is 416 596-8081.