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What Not to Do When Separating


  1. Don’t act deceptively or at least think very carefully before doing so. This includes transferring money without telling your partner, going through your partner’s belongings without their agreement, telling your partner that you’re separated after you’ve already moved out. Having worked with hundreds of separated clients, the deception of the other person around the time of separation appears to be a very influential factor in how negotiations and discussions progress in relation to sorting finances, dividing the assets and care arrangements for the children.  Deception breeds distrust, anxiety and creates doubt about the person’s motives.
  2. Don’t stop communicating, even if it means doing it over text message or email. Keeping the lines of communication open is important in order to progress discussions. Be sure to communicate with your partner in a respectful and courteous way.
  3. Don’t assume anything, including that you know how your partner feels.
  4. Don’t treat your partner with any less respect for them that you had at the beginning of the relationship, no matter what the reason is for separation. There was a reason that you two got together and whilst you’re sorting things out when it comes to care arrangements for the children and/or dividing your assets, you need to remain partnered and committed to working together to resolve issues. The alternative to that is that third parties become involved and muck things up—whether it is friends, family members or lawyers.
  5. Don’t fight in public or in front of your children, other family members and friends.
  6. Don’t, depending on your circumstances, pull all financial support from your partner. This is likely to only serve to make life difficult in progressing forward in an amicable way.
  7. If you’re committed to working things out yourselves, don’t involve third parties. This means don’t involve your parents, your friends, your new partner or others to intervene on your behalf unnecessarily.