Long Island Family Law Attorneys 631.894.4523 Call to Schedule a Consultation

The First Steps After You've Made the Decision to Separate

The First Steps After You've Made the Decision to Separate

Posted By Meyers Law Group, P.C. || 12-Dec-2013

After months of trying therapy or simply drifting apart, you may be coming to the decision that you and your spouse need to split up. If this conclusion seems inescapable after much thought, then a hard decision could be behind you, but many difficulties still lie ahead. Here are tips to help you navigate your way toward a separation or divorce:

Preliminary Decisions

First, you need to consult with someone you can totally trust, telling them about your decision. This should be someone who can further provide the emotional support you need. Sharing this decision can also be a safety measure. After that, you are going to have to make some logistical choices.

For instance, who will be staying in your home? Will you need to ask your spouse to move out? If you feel you need to move out, then you will have figure out where you are moving to. You will need such plans in place before you sit down with your spouse about the need to separate; staying together any longer than necessary after that point can be a precarious position for you both. Then you will have to consider what you want from the separation. Will this simply be a temporary setup, or a stepping stone toward divorce? Do you still want to maintain contact with your spouse throughout the separation?

Then there are your future finances to think about. It is never good to accrue debt, but it is especially worse in a situation where you can be accused of dissipating your marital assets. You also should probably take an inventory of the property you two own, and then decide which you require for the future. You also need to be aware of where you can find all the documents you will need, such as car titles, your marriage certificate, etc. And you will further need to nail down how many service plans (internet, phones, etc.) you two have together. It is ideal to go over these matters yourself before you can entertain the thought of talking to your spouse about separating.

Create a Plan

After you have found some preliminary answers, you have some planning to do, especially for the moment when you break the news to your spouse. You should write out a practice of how you want to approach your spouse on the matter, an outline or a script. You do not want to be overcome by emotions in your word choice, after all. It would be best to not announce all their failings, but instead to say why you need to leave and what you want from the separation. Do not forget to put in your script a place to ask your spouse about their thoughts on goals for the separation.

Then realize that you will have to address nitty-gritty details. If both of you have jobs, perhaps you can split up your finances accordingly, simply living single lives. If that is not feasible, then you will have to come up with a fair way to divide things. (Either way, you will need to open up a separate bank account, detangling your finances from your spouse's.) You should have your bank statements and financial data with you, so that you and your spouse can start splitting up accounts, redirecting bills, and so on.

Telling Your Spouse

Once you have done all this planning, there will come a point to take the plunge. But you do not want to pounce on a random moment; this should be very well thought out. Now, if there is any apprehension about physical safety, you should initiate this conversation in a very public space (but not a restaurant, more like a park). Also, after an argument is a bad time. Try to broach the topic when there will be the time necessary, and when you two are composed. In fact, as you could be ambushing your spouse with an overload of information, the first talk might simply address the need to separate. Then you could bring up what you two want from it, and then later, how to actually implement the separation. Then when you are done conversing, you may need to actually split up to have time alone to mull over everything, leaving the phone on hand to discuss what needs to be readdressed.

With so much on the line, you do not want details to be overlooked until it is too late. Of course, if the separation is not going to be brief, you will need to protect your interests by making the separation legal, or perhaps going straightaway for divorce proceedings. To find out what legal actions are best for your situation, contact the Meyers Law Group, P.C. today. Learn how an experienced Long Island family law attorney can protect your future.