Have you recently separated? Depending on your situation, separation can be daunting, and deciding on your next step will often be an emotional and life-changing decision to make. Parenting styles will alter. Emotions will be running high; feelings of anger, tears and confusion as you begin your healing process. It is crucial to accept that every separation is different and may encounter varying issues.
When you feel overwhelmed about where to begin, these steps will help you get started and find peace moving forward with your new life.
Discuss your living arrangements
Your first step will generally be to organise your living situation. Whether you or your ex-partner are newly separated or perhaps the separation is to evaluate the future of your relationship, you will need to deal with your living situation as a priority, especially if children are involved.
Working quickly and cooperatively will give your family much-needed stability and an opportunity to create a safe environment across two homes. Or, if you are to continue living under the same roof while separated, this step will help identify a clear and comfortable living arrangement to avoid issues later on.
Communicate with your children
If you happen to have children, being prepared to talk to your children about your newly separated setup will be one of the most critical steps. It might be difficult as your kids will have lots of questions. Be ready to provide answers to make the transition eventually be smooth for them.
As big as this change is for you, it will seem harder for your children. Be their support as it takes time for them to process the matter. Hold space for them, hear them out, accept and answer whatever questions you can, and don’t be afraid to tell them if you haven’t figured something out yet.
Sort out your finances and assets
The separation of finances and assets is a natural step in separation. Other newly separated couples focus on this later on only to realise that it leads to regret and even more pain to both parties. This step can be long and challenging. That is why it is best to start as soon as possible.
Typically, managing your finances is the best place to start, specifically, who will be responsible for what bills. Leave assets for a limited time until you have sought legal advice. Dealing with liabilities that are held either individually or shared should be a priority.
The assurance that neither party falls behind in any repayments will make the process of separation manageable. It alleviates possible unnecessary stress – which can be caused by forcing your ex-spouse into a financial position they cannot maintain.
It may then be convenient to deal with joint bank accounts. For example, contacting your bank to require authorisation from both of you to transact withdrawals from joint bank accounts or cancel credit cards held in both names, or those in your name your ex-partner may have a card linked.
Contact and Hire a Lawyer
When you are ready to separate assets, it is best to get organised. Make a list of all assets held together and individually.
Take note about when the asset was acquired, either before the relationship, during the relationship, or after separation. Also, make a note of how you would prefer the asset to be dealt with. There will be some assets to which you are attached, some which you will be happy for your former spouse or partner to keep and some which you will want to sell or dispose of.
Negotiation and compromise will be required from both of you. Peter Fisher Lawyers can help guide you through this process and help protect your interests.
Adelaide Family Lawyer to Help
Once you begin navigating these steps, it will likely be the best time to seek legal advice for the rest of the course. Remember, every separation is different. The sense of urgency of your situation may mean that you need to speak with a lawyer immediately. Peter Fisher Lawyers have extensive experience in Family Law Matters and can help you keep moving forward. Lawyers who help people navigate through life. Call us on 8296 2690.