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Surviving Your Split: A Guide to Separation, Divorce and Family Law in Australia (Lucy and Rebekah Mannering, MUP)

The last thing I expected from reading Surviving Your Split: A Guide to Separation, Divorce and Family Law in Australia was enjoyment. I expected sound legal advice, helpful case studies, cold hard facts, but I was not expecting to actively enjoy reading it. Authors Rebekah and Lucy Mannering—both divorcees and lawyers themselves—have done an excellent job translating dry legal jargon into a practical, easy-to-read and interesting guide that should be prescribed reading for anyone going through a divorce. Written in a friendly, conversational style and lightened with occasional bouts of humour, Surviving Your Split feels like a sage friend who is holding your hand through the minefield of separation. In addition to providing useful information on the nuts-and-bolts legal stuff—how to choose a lawyer, what is a costs agreement, what is involved in negotiating child support and property settlement—the book takes readers through what to expect emotionally in the first few days after separation and how to traverse grey areas like who should move out, why you shouldn’t text message your ex and how to tell the kids and families. It also dips into the psychology of grief and attachment theory to help explain why the experience is such a wretched one. Even if you can afford to enlist the help of a family lawyer—and the authors recommend this—reading this book would alleviate some of the stress of the divorce process and perhaps lower some legal fees, too.

Meelee Soorkia is a writer, editor and former senior development editor at Hardie Grant Books, specialising in narrative nonfiction and memoir


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