Ending a relationship is usually a decision that you have potentially made or thought about, but never actioned. You may have discussed how to separate from your husband with close family or friends, or even your husband, but acting on it has never come to fruition. You may have children together and have stayed in an unhappy marriage to avoid disrupting their childhood.
There are many support services in the community that can provide you with emotional and practical advice on how to go about separation. Seeing a counsellor is a great way to start. The experience of the separation process is different for each couple, and there is no set formula for how it should be done.
If you have made up your mind about how to separate from your husband, you would benefit from an initial conference with one of our experienced family law lawyers.
How to separate from your husband
In order to best prepare yourself for your first conference with a lawyer, you should think about the following:
If you have children:
- What is the current situation?
- In the future, what kind of parenting arrangement do you think is in the best interests of the children? Which parent should the children live with, and how much time should the other parent spend with the children?
- What school would you like for the children to attend?
- Is there a history of family violence? If so, can you describe specific incidents that have occurred?
- Are there issues regarding a history of lack of parenting by one parent?
If you need a property settlement?
- What assets do you and your partner own now? And, what assets did each of you bring into the relationship?
- What liabilities do you each have now, and what did you owe when you started living together?
- What are your current incomes, and how do you share the burden of paying for your financial commitments?
- Did either of you have any lump sum gains such as inheritance, compensation awards, etc?
- Is one parent primarily responsible for supervising the children, and attending to home duties?
If you wish to obtain a divorce:
- Do you recall the date you separated?
- If there wasn’t a definite date, do you recall which aspects of your relationship have changed since separation, and when those changes began to occur?
- Do you have a copy of your marriage certificate?
- Do you know where your husband can be contacted?