Making the decision to leave your partner is never easy, and should never be made lightly, especially when there are children involved. But I am not one who believes that parents should stay together just because there are children involved, either. So if you’ve made up your mind, and you know that leaving your partner is the right decision, then I believe you know best.
But as I said, this is never an esay decision, and it certainly isn’t easy to put into action, especially if you yourself don’t have a stable situation.
When I was 22, I decided to split from my then hunsband. Yes, I was only 22, the mother of a 4-year-old little boy, and already headed for divorce. I didn’t work so didn’t have any income, nor any real hopes for any as I hadn’t finished the university and had no degree.
So I was terrified; both of what people would say about me, and of how I would possibly be able to give my son the life and stability that he deserved. But I knew it was the right decision, and I was right. Even though it was the hardest thing I ever did, I never once regretted it or looked back.
But here are some of the steps that I wish I had known to take in order to make things easier, both for me and my son:
1 – Consult an attorney
Yes, I know. I say attorney, and all you hear is ka-ching! In the bad way. As in, all that money leaving. I know.
But I think that if I could go back in time and change one thing in my past, it would be to tell my 22-year-old self to consult an attorney. It would have saved me so
I was not aware of my rights at all, and was naive enough to think that the man I was getting a divorce from, and who was handling all the formalities, had my best interests at heart. Spoiler. He didn’t. I didn’t realize it then, but the papers I signed then are still screwing me over now.
So you may think that an attorney is expensive and not worth it. You may think that you’re getting a friendly divorce, and that it’ll all be fine.
Yeah. That was my case too. Don’t do it. Seriously. If you listen to anything in this post, then listen to this: consult an attorney.
2 – Make your decisions
Yes, ideally a divorce is a common decision, and you can both sit down civilly and talk things through. I sincerely hope that that is how things will go for you.
But once again, that is how it went for me, and I got seriously bit in the ass afterwards.
So my advice is to take some time before-hand to make up your own mind about what you want, and what you think is best for your child. This doesn’t mean that you are cutting the father out of the picture, or out of any decision.
This just means that you are taking responsibility of the decision of leaving your partner, and that you want to have a clear idea of what you will do after you leave.
This means that when you do sit down, and hopefully calmly discuss things, you will know what your priorities are, and won’t let yourself be talked into an arrangement that is severely in your disfavor.
So take some time to think about things rationally before you confront your soon-to-be-ex-partner, because chances are that you won’t be quite so rational when you’ve got him across the tale from you. So have things written down, a list of the different points you want to make, and your
Here are some of the things to which you should give some thought:
Where will you live?
Who will move out of the family home? If you move out, where will you live? Or are you going to request that he move?
Keep in mind that in some places, a judge can rule more severely on the parent that left the family home, as this disturbs the child’s stability.
If you are both in agreement, and you both want to have equal time with the children and parental rights, then put something down in writing before either of you move out. This is something that would undoubtedly be a good thing to talk about with your attorney.
What will the custody arrangement look like?
Your children should always be at the foremost of your mind, especially when you are splitting from your partner. This will be an extremely difficult moment for them, and everything in your power should be done to shield them as much as possible.
Therefore, you should commit to doing what is best for them, regardless of whether it’s best for you. If your partener is a good father, the fact that he is a lousy husband should not come into play. Set your personal feelings aside, and ask yourself if this is the case. Be honest. If your answer is “yes”, then try as much as possible to have joint custody, and 50-50 time with the children. Have their best interest at heart, before your own.
If your partner is not a good father, then fight for sole custody. But be sure that you are doing this for the children, and not for egotistical reasons.
Take some time to consider this carefully, and perhaps more importantly, honestly.
How will you provide?
The best way to have a clear picture of your financial situation after the separation is to make a budget in which you input your expenses. Once you know how much you will spend, you will know how much you need to earn. If you need help setting up a budget, then read my step-by-step how to article here!
If you don’t work, then you need to have a plan. How will you provide for your children? If your husband was the
Depending on your views, this may be something difficult for you to accept, and you may want to provide for yourself and your children on your own. If that’s the case, think about how you will achieve that.
What kind of job can you realistically apply for? Will the salary be enough for you and your children?
Take some time to do an online search for what salaries can be expected in your line of work in your area, and if that will be enough to provide.
There is no shame in accepting alimony for a time, until you can get back on your feet and earn sufficiant income on your own.
Remember; your priority is your children, and you need to do what’s best for them.
Set up a budget, input your new expenses, and figure out how much monthly income you will need.
3 – Finances
If you have joint accounts, then you need to open one in your name right now. Make the necessary changes with anybody putting money onto your account, such as your employer.
Make a list of your assets and his, and make sure you don’t forget anything. Don’t forget that this isn’t limited to financial ones (like your bank accounts and pensions as well as any savings and investments you have). Include material assets as well, such as cars and any real-estate you have.
Make sure that the list is complete and accurate. Do not try to fool the judge by cheating on this. It will come out and you will be reprimanded for it.
4 – Administration
Make sure that you contact anybody who needs to know about the change of situation. If you are moving out, then you need to make sure that you change your address with your insurance, employer, bank etc. The best way to do this and ensure you are not forgetting anyone, is to set up mail forwarding with your post office, and change the address with every company you get mail from as you get it.
Also make sure you get all your important documents, such a birth certificates, passport, taxes, car and house deeds, any documents you need for your children, etc. These documents are highly important and a huge pain to replace if you lose them.
So make sure that all of your important documents are in one place, and that if you are moving out, you do not forget to take them with.
5 – Take some time for yourself
A separation is an extremely difficult time, even for the strongest of us.
Take some time for yourself. Go to the cinema with some friends to get your mind off things, or go out for a drink with your sister. Talk to them. Get their support, and don’t feel bad about pouring out your feelings to them.
You’re in a bad place right now, and they’ll understand that. So talk it out. Tell them about your fears, about your doubts, about how they can help you through these times.
6 – Think about the future
Right now, you are probably lost, and all you can see is the darkness and uncertainty of the immediate future.
I’m not going to lie; the next few weeks and months are undoubtedly going to suck really bad.
But time will pass.
It will get easier, and you will get into a new routine, form new habits. You will begin to feel like you can see where you’re going again. Like you can breathe.
Remember that you’re doing this for a reason, and that your life and your children’s lives are going to be so much better for it. You’re going to feel alive again. Feel free.
You’re making the right choice, don’t doubt yourself. Your future is yours, and it’s bright and full of promises.
Make plans. Decide what you want to do. Are you finally going to commit yourself to getting that job you’ve always dreamed of? Or are you going to move back to your hometown you miss so much? Or will you go on a trip with your children?
Make plans. Your new life is about to begin.
It gets better
I know that right now is difficult. Leaving your partner is never easy, nor should it be. Download my check-list down below to help you remember the steps to take, and ensure that things go as smoothly as possible.
But remember that it gets better. WAY better. So don’t give up, don’t make the mistake going back when you know that utlimately, it’s the wrong move. Hold to your decision. Surround yourself with friends and family that support you, and keep pushing you foward.
You can do this. Believe in yourself and in your strenght, and do it both for yourself and your children.
And believe, deep down inside, that it gets better.
I really hope that this post will help you see a bit more clearly in these difficult times. And if you need support, please remember that I am always available. I am a real person who will get back to you, so please contact me if you feel the need!
And in the meantime, take care.
Lots of love,
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