The break-up of a relationship is never easy, but it doesn’t have to be acrimonious. Here, Jacqueline Major from law firm Hodge Jones & Allen gives her top tips on how to keep things civil…
1 Communicate with your ex-partner, and if possible, discuss how to proceed with interim arrangements regarding who will live where, how to arrange care for the children and who is going to pay for what. Accept that the law always puts the person with the greater need first in terms of housing and maintenance.
2 Get some emotional support from a friend, family member or a counsellor and take initial advice from a family solicitor, who will also advise you about alternative resolutions, such as mediation. Early advice can prevent relatively minor legal problems from escalating.
3 Be transparent and prepared to negotiate finances. You have a duty to disclose all your assets when asked to do so. Don’t be tempted to hide money, or to sign over assets to a relative — it will be discovered.
4 Don’t involve the children in the break-up and do not try to alienate them from the other parent.
5 Finally, however hard it is, try not to dwell on the reasons for the break-up. The question to ask is not why he or she did what they did — but what you can do to focus on the future and rebuild your life.