The very real pain of separation and the process of separating is difficult but from this ending will come a new beginning, the beginning of your new life after separation.
You started your married life with Plan A, a rosy future of a happy family life and a happy relationship. When your life plan, “Plan A” changes, its time to make Plan B. None of us start our marriages, our relationships, with a Plan B in mind, but that is what separation calls for – making and carrying out Plan B – planning your new life after separation
Plan B is a team effort. You cannot do it alone and you are not expected to do it alone. I’ve put together some tips to help you get through this, to help you establish a good support team. Should the time come for you to go to Plan B, a good support team is essential to help you plan your new life after separation.
Accept that there is grief, immense grief, at the loss of the relationship, the end of your role in that relationship, the ‘me’ instead of the ‘we’. Giving yourself permission to grieve for the loss of the relationship is an important step in accepting the reality of your new life.
Step one is getting yourself a good psychologist or counsellor who can help you deal with the inevitable grief at the loss of the relationship and help you move towards planning your new life. Those who view the ending of their relationship as an opportunity to take hold of their life and make it into what they really want, who open themselves to new experiences and new opportunities, are able to survive the changes separation brings much more readily than those who continue to see themselves as the victim of the separation
Being active in planning your new life is essential, rather than waiting for a new life to come to you. In business we say “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” In life, the failure to plan for your new life leaves you the victim your past life, not the owner of your new life.
Find a specialist family lawyer to help negotiate a settlement dividing the assets without going to court, staying civilised in the face of an often hostile ex-partner and focusing on what’s most important in the outcome, particularly where children are involved. It’s important to distinguish between what’s a property discussion and what’s a parenting discussion. The division of assets is not linked to parenting issues. Focus on the best outcome for the children in parenting and what is fair in property division.
Planning that new life after separation is important. The reality of separation is that your financial circumstances will change. The joint income that supported one household now supports two households often unequally. The bills will still come in, mortgages must be paid, school fees never seem to stop and the list goes on. Talk about your finances with a professional, your accountant or a good financial planner. This is particularly important as you work towards a property division. Becoming familiar with your finances and what is possible in your changed circumstances will help you in planning your new life. Superannuation and insurance is part of that new life and good advice is needed here
Separation is the ending of your previous life, but it’s also the beginning of a new life – make it the one you want by making that plan B