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What to Do When Separating


  1. Do continue to communicate with your partner and do so in a respectful and courteous way.  
  2. Do, depending on your circumstances, continue the financial status quo of sharing in expenses, home loan repayments and expenses for the children until you’ve discussed changing it or you’ve formalised your financial agreement. 
  3. Do remain honest and transparent in your actions and intentions.
  4. Do understand that you both may be in different places in terms of processing the separation and that you cannot push one another to progress things when they are not ready. 
  5. Do set yourselves a timeframe to work towards reaching an agreement about care arrangements for the children and/or dividing your assets.
  6. Do look to reframing your statements to become ‘We’ statements as opposed to statements that could be interpreted as accusatory. For example, instead of “You’re the one delaying things. What do you want?”, reframe to say, “We appear to be at a standstill with things. What do you need from me in order to progress things? How do we progress things from here?”
  7. Do look after yourself—both mentally and physically. Your emotional health and physical wellbeing are going to be important factors to getting you through the separation and the separation process. 
  8. Do surround yourself with supportive people—friends, family, your GP or a psychologist/psychiatrist or counsellor. 
  9. Do keep a written record of what you and your partner have discussed, whether as a diary or written email to your partner confirming what you have discussed/agreed and what you understood from your discussion. Putting this in a diary or an email to your partner serves as contemporaneous written record of your understanding and intentions.