Going through a relationship breakdown is one of the five most stressful life events for any individual.
The process of ending a relationship is emotionally charged and can feel overwhelming for those involved.
Below are some helpful tips to consider when it is clear your relationship has come to an end.
1. Couples who are married or in a civil partnership have different legal rights to cohabitees. The myth of ‘common-law marriage’ is just that – a myth. There is different legislation for cohabitees, no matter how long you may have lived together. It is important to obtain advice as to what you, and your children, may be entitled to.
2. If you have children, put them first throughout the relationship breakdown as you have during the relationship. Consider how best to tell the children of your decision to separate and ensure they are receiving support. Establishing a new routine for term-time and holiday arrangements will provide stability for the children, and minimise misunderstandings later on. It is the on-going conflict between parents which has a greater impact on children than the breakdown of a relationship. Try to protect the children from unnecessary conflict.
3. Obtain legal advice. Arranging a meeting with a Family Lawyer should answer many of the questions surrounding the relationship breakdown. The old adage ‘knowledge is power’ is true. Gaining an understanding of how the process works and what separation of any assets might look like will help you prepare for the end of the relationship, both emotionally and financially.
4. Consider other support. A Family Lawyer can provide legal advice and practical support. Seeking assistance from counsellors or other therapists will provide emotional support which can make the process easier to navigate. Some therapists will also work with the family as a whole.
5. Obtain a Financial Order. If you are married or in a civil partnership, as part of the divorce process your financial order will set out the division of any marital assets, such as the family home, pensions, savings and family business. More importantly, a financial order dismisses each of your financial claims against the other in life and in death. This does not automatically occur on divorce.
6. Be fair and realistic. There are different ways to reach a financial settlement, which your lawyer will guide you through. It is a better use of your time and money to focus on what you need to take care of your future, rather than as retribution against your former partner.