For anyone who has separated from their spouse or partner and is now preparing for divorce, there can be a range of emotions that they go through, including anxiety, anger, sadness, and we dare say in some cases, relief, and maybe even joy. No matter which emotions exist, it is also important to think clearly and make the right practical decisions, and part of that will include seeking advice from a divorce lawyer.
Having a divorce lawyer with which you can discuss your divorce, seek advice, and ask them to prepare the necessary legal documents which need to be submitted to the Family Court, can remove a huge burden from the mind of someone going through a divorce.
Nevertheless, although your divorce lawyer can undertake lots of the necessary legal requirements, there are other practical matters which you need to consider, some of which impact your immediate circumstances, and some which will have an impact in the longer term.
We have pinpointed these practical matters under 5 different aspects of separation and divorce, so here they are as a mini-guide to what you need to plan for.
Initial Separation and Living Arrangements
As you need to be separated for at least 12 months before a divorce will be granted, your living arrangements in the meantime need to be sorted. Whether it is you moving out, your spouse moving out, or an arrangement where you both live in the same house, but not as a couple, has to be determined.
Arrangements For The Children
You should be aware from the outset that any decisions or arrangements that are made for the children, will only be sanctioned by the Family Court if it believes them to be in the best interests of those children. Any thoughts of keeping them from their other parent, or refusing to support them financially, for example, must be dismissed as the court will simply order them to be rejected.
Ideally, you want to do all you can to protect the children as much as possible from the emotional fallout that is bound to occur from their parents separating and agree to the arrangements for the children with their other parent, otherwise the family court will decide for you.
This will be a core part of the divorce negotiations given that all assets that are jointly owned between you and your partner need to be shared, and that includes the value of the marital home. In addition, the share of any joint liabilities needs to be resolved, as do spousal support if this is deemed necessary, and child support which is normally awarded.
This should be considered carefully, especially if you have children. Keeping open amicable lines of communication between yourself and your ex throughout the divorce process and beyond, is better for everyone. It pays no dividends to go around bad-mouthing an ex-partner especially in front of the children. It also does not help to discuss the divorce in public by posting details of it on social media, for example.
Personal documentation is important, and this is especially so, during a divorce. If you are the spouse moving out of the marital home, then you should ensure that you take all your personal documents such as your passport, insurance policies, bank statements, pension policies, and so on. If your divorce turns sour and your ex is refuses to communicate, trying to retrieve these at a later date may prove to be extremely difficult.