Deciding whether to separate is never straightforward, whatever your circumstances. Sometimes the decision is not of your making and that can be as difficult to come to terms with.
At Evolve Family Law, we talk to clients who are:
• Not sure of what they want to do; or
• Clear that divorce is the right option for them; or
• Have been separated for many years and want advice on changing or enforcing financial or children court orders.
Many people are wary about taking divorce advice because they think they should know what they want to do before they see a solicitor. That is not the case. Experienced solicitors always like to discuss options so you can make an informed decision about what is right for you.
Should we separate?
That is a tough decision that only you can make. As experienced Manchester divorce solicitors, we can talk to you about your legal options and potential outcomes. Many people canvass views from friends and family when deciding whether to separate. Everyone has his or her own experiences and agenda but what Evolve Family Law will not do is push you into a separation or divorce.
When should I tell my partner?
Timing can be crucial, as you may want to think about making sure that you have access to funds, your paperwork and possessions before talking to your partner. You may also want to make sure that you or your partner can have space away from one another. For some people that involves making sure they can stay with friends or family or that their partner can do so. If you are worried about your partner’s reaction, you may need an injunction.
Talking to the children
Ideally, parents should talk to children together so that the children know that both parents are going to continue to look after them, but in separate households. There is a lot of information and support available for both parents and children to help parents answer children’s questions in an age appropriate way.
Leaving the family home
It is always sensible to take legal advice from a Manchester divorce solicitor before leaving the family home. Many people think that if you leave the family home you will lose your claim to a share of the property. That is not the case but the decision to leave the family home can have a big impact on the children and on how long it can take to reach an agreement. Legal advice is therefore key to making the right decision, rather than feeling pressurised or desperate to leave, as you do not know your options.
Secure your computer and your documents
If you take the decision is taken to separate you may want to keep some information private. Think about changing passwords for your phone, laptop or computer.
At a later stage, you will need to provide your financial documents and paperwork. If you are concerned that your partner may remove your paperwork make sure that you put it in a safe place as it can take time to obtain duplicate information.
Joint bank accounts and credit cards
If you and your partner have joint bank accounts and credit cards you may want to think about making sure that funds are not taken from the accounts. Ideally, this is something that should be agreed. However, if you fear that funds could be taken then accounts can be frozen or overdraft or credit facilities reduced.
Many couples who are able to split up on an amicable basis continue to use a joint account until they reach a financial settlement. This is not appropriate for all families.
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Maintenance and child-support
People worry about paying bills if they split up from a partner. Ideally, after taking legal advice, you and your partner will discuss financial support to include spousal maintenance or child maintenance until you decide, on a long-term basis, how assets and property should be split.
Taking advice from a Manchester divorce solicitor will help you know what is fair and reasonable. If you cannot reach agreement then mediation may help you sort out temporary financial arrangements. If you and your partner struggle to agree then the court can make temporary financial support orders.
Whether you decide to separate, divorce or stay Evolve Family Law can help you explore your legal options so you can make an informed decision.
For legal help with divorce proceedings and financial claims or childcare arrangements please call Contact Us Today