No one walks down the aisle on their wedding day thinking they’ll separate or get divorced. Unfortunately for some, that ends up being the reality. The decision to separate can be mutual and even be amicable, but for others it can be fraught process.
Here are some our top tips for surviving a separation/divorce:
Finding the right family solicitor from the beginning is key. You and your solicitor will be working closely together throughout a difficult time in your life. Your solicitor will advise you on the best course of action for your particular circumstances and what that will mean for you.
You’ll likely hear stories from others about their separation and divorce cases or those of their friends. Try to put these stories to one side, every separation and divorce is different. We’re here to help find an outcome that is right for you.
And it’s important to remember, just because you take initial legal advice that doesn’t mean you have to act immediately and end up in court.
Make a list of all bank and savings accounts, assets and any debts that you have individually and together.
You’ll need a date to focus the value of these, so agree a date of separation with your spouse. If you own a house together ask your mortgage provider for a mortgage redemption statement for the date that you separated. And don’t be afraid to call the bank, they hear this request on a daily basis!
Even in the most acrimonious of separations, you and your spouse will need to discuss arrangements for children. You’ll both need to come together to make decisions about your children and, in particular, who they live with as well as when and how much they will spend with the other parent.
Keeping what’s actually best for your children at the forefront of your mind is crucial. And decisions shouldn’t be made to ‘punish’ or ‘manipulate’ the other parent. The question for separating parents with children is: what do the children need to keep them happy and maintain a good relationship with both of you?
There are many different ways in which children live with separated parents. There’s no ‘one size fits all’ solution for families.
Some separations will need a court action raised pretty quickly. But others can be dealt with through a written agreement being put in place to set out how finances and care arrangements for the children will be dealt with.
It’s you and your family’s individual circumstances that are important and your solicitor will advise you on which option will be best for your separation.
We can all be guilty of venting our frustrations from time to time, but we always advise that you try to keep the details of your separation and divorce off social media.
Anything that you do share online could lead to uncomfortable issues in court. If social media posts or emails end up in front of the judge, you don’t want to end up wishing you hadn’t said what you did in the heat of the moment or to a large audience. It’s inevitable you will want to talk about things, especially things that are frustrating, at some stage, but we recommend you speak to a friend, family member or your solicitor – just remember to keep any conversations private and offline.
For those going through a divorce or separation that isn’t so amicable, splitting belongings can be a challenging task. Discussions with your solicitor can help avoid any heat of the moment actions (and save you money on any potential reimbursements you may occur).
Separation and divorce is one of the most stressful events a person can go through. Seeking help from a professional to talk through your thoughts and emotions can be extremely helpful and there is no shame in that.
We have family law specialists in Glasgow and Edinburgh who’ll help make the process as easy and amicable as possible for you.