- IS YOUR MARRIAGE REALLY OVER?
The demands of life can interfere with prioritising your marriage especially with the arrival of children when you have less time to devote to each other. A breakdown in communication or a lack of intimacy are often cited as reasons for marriage troubles. Some problems are surmountable if you can be open and honest with each other. Couple counselling can help tackle issues in a supported environment or help a couple accept it’s over and support a couple navigating the practicalities of separation.
- TALKING TO YOUR CHILDREN
Children can often sense something is wrong but they don’t want to be treated as invisible. They need to be prepared for changes in life to come. They might be worried about where they will live, with whom and how much time they will spend with each parent. As parents your role is to work together to reassure your children that they are loved and that life will be stable and secure regardless of the break up. Your children will thank you for putting them before your emotions. For older children, don’t forget to listen. Their wishes count.
- INTERIM ARRANGEMENTS
Think about what financial and practical arrangements are needed as you sort out a settlement. Ask yourself would it help the children if you lived apart in the interim? If so, where will you both live and can you mange meeting the cost of two homes? Are there joint bank accounts to close, overdrafts to freeze, or direct debits to change? Will one parent need to financially support the other? Are there state benefits that can be claimed? Think about the arrangements for the children to spend time with each parent. Will they live with one parent or will parenting be shared?
- WORKING TOWARDS A FINANCIAL SETTLEMENT
Going to court should always be a last resort. Transparency, openness and honesty in your dealings with each other plus leaving emotions to one side are key to settling your financial affairs. Meet and share your financial information. Be honest about the settlement you each want for yourself and your children. Talk about how this would work financially and practically. If conversations become heated, think about using a mediator for support or instruct a solicitor to negotiate for you. If negotiations fail a court application is next but even in proceedings Judges have power to help you settle to avoid the expense of a trial.
- LIFE AFTER DIVORCE
Divorce can be a testing time but whilst your relationship has come to an end your responsibility as parents is ongoing. Wouldn’t it be lovely for your children to see you getting along? Life is too short to live in the past. Lost love for each other can be replaced by a mutual respect and a shared commitment towards your children.