Social scientists tell us that separating from a spouse is one of the most difficult experiences in life. With this comes emotional distress and uncertainty about the future.

If you are considering separating, or you suspect your spouse may initiate separation, you should carefully think about how your circumstances may change after separation and what steps you can take to manage any uncertainty.

You may wish to consider whether any of the following issues are applicable to you:

  • Is there a history of domestic violence and are you, or any children, at risk of harm if there is a separation? If you have concerns about your safety, developing a safety plan around separation should be a priority for you.
  • If your spouse refuses to leave the family home, will you be able to live together in the short term or do you have alternate housing options? You need to think about where you will live.
  • Will you have access to funds to support yourself and any children in the short-term? You may need to get some help to secure access to funds in the short and medium term if you aren’t currently working.
  • If you leave the family home, will you lose access to documents you might need when negotiating a property settlement? Turn your mind to what documents you will leave behind if you leave the home. Can you access a copy electronically if you need to or do you need to consider whether you can safely take a copy or a screen shot of documents before you leave.
  • If you have any pets, who will be caring for them after separation and if it is you, are you able to take them with you if you leave the family home?