The Three Most Important First Steps In Divorce

If your spouse has declared that they are about to leave you or have already left, then you’re likely to be feeling shocked and devastated. Facing up to the ending of a marriage and piecing your life back together is never easy. However, it’s important that you deal correctly with these dramatic changes to your life from the outset in order to make sure you’re able to continue to manage your life through those first few months.

Take Control of your Finances

If you have always relied on your partner for financial support or allowed them to handle all the finances, then sorting through bills and bank statements can initially be especially tricky. However, you need to make sure that you can manage to meet your financial commitments until a divorce settlement is reached and take charge of your financial situation. If you have no idea of the household finances, then immediately sit down with pen and paper and work out income and expenditure.

If you have had children with your partner, then your spouse has a legal responsibility to help support them. It’s always best to come to an agreement between yourselves, but remember that this isn’t legally binding. So if you have doubts as to whether your spouse will pay, then the Child Maintenance Service can work out how much should be paid, put in place a legally binding agreement and collect payments to pass on to you.

Know your Property Rights

If your spouse has literally left the family home, then you may need to take action to enable you to stay on. Immediately after a spouse has left the marital home or declared they want to divorce, you should protect your entering a Notice of Home Rights against the property with the Land Registry. This protects you as it should prevent your spouse from selling the property under your feet until a settlement is reached. Overall, even if a house is in the name of only one spouse, the other has a legal right of occupation for as long as they remain married due to the fact it is the marital home. What you need to do depends upon your situation and housing law is complicated so it’s important to seek advice. Solicitors specialising in divorce will advise you of your rights.

Be Kind to Yourself

Although it’s tempting to relive every minute of your marriage and constantly wonder where you went wrong remember that we often have little control over what other people do; even our own spouses. Feelings of upset, anger and bitterness about being left are normal, and working through it all is a process. Eventually you’ll be able to let go and move forward, but recognise you will have to work through the immediate pain. Take control of the things you can do something about, and deal with the emotional fall out by being kind to yourself, accepting the support of friends, and talking it all through.

Bill Turner is an entrepreneur and family man. He enjoys spending lots of time with his kids and Yorkies. He has a family full of athletes and likes to train on the weekends.