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What to Expect When You Separate

I pulled together some general advice that may be beneficial for those who have decided not to live together any longer and have separated.

  • Assess your financial situation: In addition to creating a new budget that supports two households, if you share bank accounts, you’ll need to decide in the short term if that still makes sense. Long-term, you will need your own account that only you can access. Also, if you don't have a credit card with your name as the primary account holder, now is the time that you will want to open an account for yourself and build credit under your name.

  • Decide on new living arrangements: One party will often move out of the home you once shared. As tough as it is, try to make these decisions early, as living together for an extended period can often create stressful situations depending on the circumstances. That said, every couple is different--and having kids in the picture may drive some of these decisions as well.

  • Forward your mail: If you move out and your spouse remains in the home, remember to change your forwarding address on all your important mail.

  • Talk with your children: If you have children, they may be significantly affected by your separation. Before talking with them, it may be wise to consult a counselor to discern the best way to share the news. Ideally, you and your spouse can work together, presenting a united front and giving your children an open invitation to continue the dialogue after the initial conversation.

  • Speak with a local attorney who practices family law: Only an attorney can advise you on legal matters about ending a marriage, so ask friends and family for referral and reach out for an initial consultation. 

In addition to these, it’s important to prioritize self-care. Separation is an emotional journey that takes a toll on your mental, physical, and emotional health, so it’s crucial to take time to nurture your personal well-being. 

Please let me know if you have any questions—I’m here to help you navigate these difficult times.