As a result of the large mining sector in Western Australia, Fly-In Fly-Out (FIFO) jobs are more common here than in most other places in Australia. While FIFO work offers advantages like higher than average wages and extended time off, it also has some disadvantages for FIFO workers. The main downside to a FIFO life is the significant blocks of time you have to spend away from your family. There are studies showing that FIFO workers have higher divorce rates than the general population because of the additional pressures of a FIFO life.
If you are a FIFO worker and are looking at separating from your spouse, here are a few options that might help you deal with the difficult time ahead:
Counselling – FIFO work can be quite challenging especially if you are new to the field. Workers often miss important moments in their family’s life. Issues like mental health problems and a heavy FIFO drinking culture may also affect your relationship. There are many practices in WA that specialise in counselling FIFO workers, and you should not hesitate to seek help if you need it.
Support Groups – There are also support groups for FIFO workers and families such as ‘FIFO Families’. Support groups are a great way to connect with people in the same position as you and get some new experiences and perspectives.
Family Dispute Resolution – If you are going though a divorce, the Family Dispute Resolution Service includes education, information, counselling, dispute resolution, conciliation and group work to help couples who are separating to resolve their family law disputes. They can help with issues such as conflicts over child care, child support, financial arrangements and property settlement.
Legal counsel – As a FIFO worker you may miss important dates such as court appointments, letters from your ex-partners counsel etc. To avoid this ensure you have adequate legal representation. That way, you can be assured that your interests are well-represented even if you are away.
This is general information only, and does not constitute specific legal advice. If you would like further information in relation to this matter or other legal matters please contact our office on Freecall 1800 609 945 or email us now.