Separation is always going to be difficult, and often results in a messy situation.
It doesn’t always take two to tango. Even in circumstances where you have tried your best to avoid the worst thing, it only takes one difficult person for the dispute to boil over. Moreover, if you are both adding fuel to the fire, it will most likely affect your mental health.
Unreasonableness, bitterness, and manipulation are all too common in separation. It can be difficult to know where to go or what to do when your separation turns messy. It might be tough to find peace as the situation gets worse, but don’t lose hope. Here is some great advice to make your separation as simple and straightforward as possible.
Seek Legal Advice
As you are newly separated from your ex-spouse, a helpful first step is to seek legal advice. It is important to find a good, reliable lawyer that you can trust. The benefit of involving a family lawyer when things have gotten chaotic is that a lawyer can help reduce some of the blows you are receiving. For those who have been recently separated, a family lawyer can assist you with putting in place boundaries and guide you through the process with clear legal advice.
Organise your Finances
The next step is getting on top of your finances. Going from two incomes to one will require adjustments to be made. Making a list of all joint accounts which you hold is a good start. Also, you should make a list of regular bills that need to be paid. This may be electricity, phone, or internet accounts to name a few examples.
If you have recently separated, you will want to remove your name from any accounts of which you will no longer be using the services. You will also want to remove your ex-partner’s name from any accounts which you will now solely be using. It is also best to close all joint bank accounts as soon as possible.
If there are funds in the accounts, come up with an interim solution, keeping a record of what you have done, and if that is not possible, you may want to consult the bank to put a “freeze” on the account until an equal agreement can be made.
Don’t Forget to Secure the Documents
It is wise to keep copies of all important documents. If the matter progresses to court proceedings you will need to provide full and frank disclosure. If you keep copies of everything then this will make things easier and will be less expensive for you in the future. It will also be helpful to document events following separation. Keep a note of anything that doesn’t quite seem right so that you can discuss it with your lawyer.
Talk to the Other Person
Sometimes communication will be necessary, especially if there are children involved, so if communication is an issue, try to set boundaries to have conversations that will result in a healthy separation. There are a number of co-parenting apps which you can communicate through and are a great way to limit direct communication. For example, App Close is a free co-parenting app, amongst others, so we highly recommend checking out your App Store.
Focus on Friends and Healthy Relationship with yourself
Finally, try to avoid the trap of hurling insults back and forth. It is not healthy for anyone involved and it is all too common for it to be used against you in Court. Your time and energy are better spent in practising self-care and paving the path for a better future. Surround yourself with people who can help support you through the messy process of separation, there are no prizes for going through this time all alone.