Separation and divorce process

Whether you have separated a while ago or more recently, the effects can be long lasting. There are many different aspects to separation and here are some of them:

  • legal
  • emotional
  • financial
  • parenting.

Your Legal Separation or Divorce

  • The legal process ends a marriage or partnership or decides how you make arrangements for your child
  • It’s not about deciding who is right or wrong or punishing the other parent
  • Going through the courts can be costly in terms of time, money and emotional energy
  • If you find it difficult to talk to your child’s other parent but want to work cooperatively, you can use mediation.

When your relationship ends and you are married, you go through the legal process of divorce as well as the other processes that arise out of the ending of your relationship. Whether you are married or not, you might need advice on the division of property and finance, on child arrangements. You can ask a solicitor to negotiate with your partner for you, although your solicitor might suggest that you try mediation to settle any issues between you.

You can also apply to the court to settle your dispute for you. However, the court will encourage you to reach agreement between yourselves and if you have not already done so, the court may also suggest that you try mediation.

Your Financial Separation or Divorce

As stated above the effects of separation can be long lasting and this is particularly true of the financial aspects in that you may have had to:

  • Divide money and property
  • Possibly sell the family home
  • Find a new home
  • Sort out any debts.
  • Remember, it’s not a good idea to involve your child in discussions about child support or income.

Some people agree how to divide their money and property easily, but for others it can be quite difficult and stressful. You may have been able to work out how you want to do this directly. Remember if you still have any problems in this area you can use a solicitor to act on your behalf, or use mediation to help you make decisions.

You might have tried to talk together to reach a solution but find that one or both of you have become upset or angry and the discussion ends up going round in circles. If you decide that mediation is right for you, you will be encouraged to solve problems in a co-operative rather than confrontational way to reach an agreement that you both feel is fair.

Your Emotional Separation

  • When you separate you are likely to experience feelings of loss irrelevant of whose decision it was
  • Your feelings can be unpredictable and it can seem like you’re on a roller-coaster
  • You may feel overwhelmed and not able to think rationally
  • Parents and children all need time to adjust to how life has changed.

The decision to end a relationship and then to parent your child separately is not an easy one; it can cause great distress, upset and shock and you might feel like your emotions are taking over your life. When you are emotionally vulnerable it can be really difficult to keep hold of any rational thoughts or to get a perspective on the situation in order to make the best decisions for you and your children. Many relationship endings are fraught with tension and communication issues; however there are many tips on how to manage your emotions in this guide. If your emotions are overwhelming you, you could seek support though your GP.