How to Begin a SeparationMonday, February 25th, 2019, 9:01 am
If you’re ready to begin separating from your spouse, you need to take careful steps in the beginning to ensure that the process goes smoothly. Even if you’re not planning on getting divorced any time soon, a legal separation does still affect your finances and a number of other factors. By carefully planning out your separation, you can also lay the groundwork for an easier divorce. Here are the steps to follow to begin your separation.
Understand Your Situation
First, you need to take stock of your situation. Are you and your spouse separating amicably? Have you discussed it at all? If not, your spouse may be caught unaware, and it could lead to a confrontation. You also need to know what your goals are. Do you plan on separating for several months before starting the divorce proceedings? Do you want to continue to be married for any specific reason? You need to know what you want out of the separation so you can be sure it meets your needs.
Take Stock of Your Finances
If you don’t know anything about your joint finances, now is the time to learn. You need to determine what income you have, what debts you may be solely responsible for after separating, and what new debts you may have to take on. For example, if you will be the one moving out during the separation, you may be taking on rent, utility costs, and more. If you don’t work or have little income, this could put you under major financial stress.
In the early stages of separation, you want to slowly start untangling yourself from your spouse. This means you’ll need to secure your own residence, have your own bank account, and have your own credit card. Eventually, the two of you will want to close your joint accounts and operate independently while agreeing on how to handle any debt you incurred while together.
Finally, while a separation isn’t a divorce, it still needs to be done legally. You should have a binding agreement drawn up by a legal professional that you both sign. This document should outline how joint debt is to be handled, how you’ll split your marital assets, what child or spousal support will be paid, and anything else that’s relevant to your situation. The legal experts at the FK Law Group can help you create this document and navigate the separation process.