So you’ve separated from your partner. What happens next? A quick Google search brings up hundreds of websites, blogs, articles – how do you know what is good advice and what is not? Well firstly there isn’t a right way to separate from someone so don’t start thinking you have to do things a certain way. The only way you should try to do things is in a way that works well for you, your children, if you have any, and your ex-partner.
What is the right way for you? That can be difficult to work out. After all you’ve not done this before and it can be an overwhelming process. It’s important to acknowledge that divorce and separation is one of the most significant and difficult life events a person can go through, so be kind and patient with yourself.
The first step is often gathering some information about next steps. There is lots of helpful information online. You can look on the section of our website devoted to Advice and Support pages but listed below are two to get you started:
2. Seeking professional support
Talking Therapies: Your emotional separation
Divorce and separation can be one of the hardest things to go through in life and talking therapies and or counselling may offer the support you need at this difficult time. Having someone there to exclusively listen to you can be an invaluable support whilst you come to terms with what has happened. Or if you feel that you have been affected long term by issues in the relationship you may wish to embark upon longer term counselling to help you address these and focus more positively on the future.
Legal Advice: Your legal separation
It can be helpful to make an initial appointment with a solicitor who can explain the legal implications of your separation and what potential outcomes might look like. A solicitor can give you advice, however the more information they have regarding your financial circumstances the more comprehensive their advice. There is hardly ever one available outcome following a separation and being flexible about what a successful resolution looks like makes it easier to reach one.
3. Family mediation
Another step you may decide to make is to attend a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM) with a mediator. And if you are thinking about making a court application you would be required to attend this meeting before you can submit your application (subject to limited exceptions).
In this MIAM the mediator will explain what mediation is and how it works to help people resolve issues between them allowing them to move on with their lives. For example family mediation can be used to resolve issues around where children live and when they see each parent or how to separate the family finances to allow a clean break from each other. For more information about this meeting please click here.
4. Interim arrangements
When you first separate it can be really helpful to give some thought to interim arrangements, such as what to say to your children or working out when the children will be spending time with each of you right now or with regard to finances what you intend to do with any joint account, bill paying etc. You will probably not be in a position to find long term solutions to every issue straight away, but interim m
easures may be helpful in bridging the gap between living as a couple and your final emotional and legal separation. You can have these discussions, amongst others, in mediation.
If you have any questions about any of the steps in this blog please contact us on 01670 528441 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org