How do I minimise the impact of separation?

Senior couple facing away from each other, having argument

The children have long since gone back to school and you reflect on the Summer with the family and in particular how you felt. No better, you conclude.  You loved spending time with the children but the time you spent with your partner/spouse was not enjoyable.  You have grown apart, your lives are rapidly flying in separate directions and nothing, not even that ‘last resort holiday’, is going to repair the relationship.  The crushing reality that you want a separation is one thing but the surge of questions that follow is just as overwhelming. “What do I do now?  How do I start the process of separation?  Who do I need to speak to?

If this sounds familiar and either you or someone you know is having these thoughts then here are a few ideas that might help you find clarity at a deeply emotional and confusing time:

Talk openly…

This may seem relatively straightforward but it is often the hardest thing to do. The way you have spoken to one another or the lack of interaction may be one of the reasons you’re in this position.  Despite this, talking to one another is so important.  There will be much to discuss, from how to tell the children to what do you do with the family home.  The answers to these questions will be more difficult to arrive at if you do not talk them through with each other.

Listen carefully…

There may be a lot that you want to get off your chest. However try to remember that your partner/spouse might also have much to say and if you do not listen actively you might miss something of importance that will help you move forward.  Treat them in a way in which you would expect to be treated and you may find that tackling those difficult topics is not as challenging as you first fear.

Share freely…

You will inevitably need to have discussions about your finances. Historically your partner/spouse has dealt with all of the money and having to understand the financial landscape is baffling.  In order to be in a position to make important decisions about how to share your financial resources, you need to know what financial resources are available to you.  Share information with each other and do not be tempted to hide anything.  You should both be open and transparent so as to find workable solutions.

Choose wisely…

Whether or not you are struggling with any or all of the above, facing the challenge of separation is daunting. That is where any one of the specialist family and divorce solicitors and mediators at Sharp Family Law can help.  Each family is unique and there are a variety of ways in which the issues that inevitably arise from separation can be dealt with.  As the largest niche firm of family solicitors in Bath, we are committed to providing tailored advice to each individual, listening to what is most important so that you can choose wisely the approach and outcome that you believe will suit you and your family.  In doing so, not only do we advise on the legal issues of separation but also we help steer you through the financial and emotional difficulties that require attention.  Our aim is to help you protect those relationships most important to you and to avoid a situation of prolonged conflict.

Article by Clare Webb

Clare is committed to helping her clients find constructive, rather than destructive, ways of resolving their issues. In doing so, she listens to the specific challenges facing the family and by focusing on long-term solutions, she helps her clients consider and decide on the most appropriate way of addressing those challenges.