Separation is a time of big change and many decisions must be made. It can help if decisions are taken calmly.

Drawing up checklists can be a good way to organise yourself at this busy and emotionally difficult time.

It can be useful to remember that your ex may not feel the same way as you and may have different concerns and priorities. Simply bearing this in mind can avoid complications. There is also the option of mediation which can help when couples can’t agree a way forward.

What kind of separation?

Take some time to consider whether an informal settlement may work best for you or if you want a formal one.

If you prefer a formal agreement, can you reach an agreement with your ex or do you need to get a court agreement?

Living arrangements

The following activities can help you work out what living arrangements will work best:

Looking after children

Asking yourself how you will care for and be responsible for your children after separation can help you keep their needs in mind at a time when this can be difficult. Ask yourself:

Dividing assets and belongings

A good place to start negotiations is for you and your ex to each list what you think needs to be divided. Then compare your lists. It can help to:

Informing people

As well as friends and family, many others need to be informed of your separation. It can be helpful to draw up a list so you and your ex can decide who is going to inform who.

You may want to write your own checklist and include things such as:

How we can help

Facing the end of your relationship can be traumatic and confusing. Our free separation tools can help you work out what to do next.