What to do after separation: 12 steps to success

Essential steps for smooth separation - Dynamic Dad

Well, I’m sorry to see you here, a relationship breakdown is rarely a good thing.

Whether it was you or your former partner that initiated the split, you now have to start with both the grieving and the moving on process at the same time.

Especially where there are children involved.

However, welcome to your new life! May it be a healthy, fulfilled and prosperous one.

So, “What should I do after separating?” read on…

The 12 steps essential to a smooth separation

The steps below are essential to a successful separation for both of you and for your kids.

1. Get your own space.

2. Exercise.

3. Maintain contact with your children and agree a plan.

4. Reduce your expenses.

5. Create a space for your children within your new home.

6. Start a project – not a hobby.

7. Get organised.

8. Create and agree a parenting plan.

9. Take time for you.

10. Plan.

11. Get and keep a diary to record your interaction, requests, agreements etc.

12. Create and agree a separation plan.

1. Get your own space.

This is an important step toward your emotional recovery as well as providing the stability both you and your children require.

Everyone needs their ‘safe space’.

Everyone needs somewhere they can relax, knowing that they won’t be interfered with where they can focus on rebuilding their life and raising their family.

Psychologically, having your own space is really important for your well-being.

Financially, your options are probably limited – in most cases the joint home is more expensive than one either of you can afford independently, and you may still have financial commitments toward it.

It’s probably not possible to move straight into a new place with enough bedrooms for everyone to have their own, all the luxuries previously enjoyed and space enough to swing a cat each.

It is however possible to find somewhere that you can stay, together, in order to maintain your relationship.

Look for enough space to allow you to live as a comfortable, if slightly squashed, family unit on holiday. Think about the amount of space you get in hotel rooms, static caravans etc.

It is possible to live in those spaces, comfortably enough – and we do so as a nation on vacation.

Your circumstances now are not that different. OK, it’s no holiday, but with some paring down of possessions, organisation and creative use of space you can maintain a relationship – and I hope a great relationship – with your kids, in a smaller space.

It might be that you find yourself having to ‘sofa surf’ initially for a short period of time, this is OK and you’re not being judged.

Your friends and family want to help you, and may well be able to find you a more permanent solution through their friends and colleagues. Longer term, you need to find somewhere suitable for yourself and your kids – even if they only stay with you for short periods, it needs to be a second home for them too, discussed later.

Rooms in shared homes, while inexpensive, are not the best idea.

The space is not really your own and therefore not really shareable with your children. Having said that, there are certainly child friendly shared accommodation (or HMO) options – I know of a couple of people who’ve lived in multiple occupancy homes and had their children stay with them comfortably, myself included.

So while not the best, they’re not totally out.

Moving back ‘home’ counts.

Though it goes against the grain for many of us – having moved out into the big world, been independent and started to raise a family of our own – we don’t want to feel as if we’ve ‘failed’ by moving back in with our parents.

If we look at it from a logical perspective though, it’s a viable option.

  • The rent is likely to be significantly less than paying for a place of your own, plus bills, furnishings etc.
  • The grandparents would love to spend more time with their grandkids.
  • If it were your kid in this position, would you want to see them suffer unnecessarily, or use the home that you have to help them get back on their feet? Of course you’d want them to accept your help, in the same way that your parents would rather help you than see you, and their grandchildren, suffer.

By getting help, and saving, you’ll find yourself in a position to get back on your own two feet much faster and without having seen your relationship with your children wither in the meantime.

By having a space you can call your own, even if it is just a room or an annexe, you’ll feel you have more freedom and ‘breathing room’ to focus on yourself, your children and your parenting without feeling the judgement of or imposition on others.

This in turn will reduce your stress levels and those of the people around you, children included.

2. Exercise.

Whether you’re a team sports type or not, exercise is essential to your well-being.

It helps stave off nasties like depression, increases your mental abilities, helps you sleep better, reduces your craving for crutches like sugar, caffeine, alcohol and nicotine and on top of that, improves your fitness so you can actually keep up with your kids.


Probably not – they have way too much energy!

For you though, it’s important. You don’t have to train for a marathon, but you do have to do something.

The World Health Organisation recommends 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity a week, or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week, or a combination of both.

In real terms, that’s 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week or 25 minutes a day, 7 days a week. It also means that taking the dog for a brisk walk twice a day counts.

No dog? You can still take yourself (and your kids) for a walk, a cycle or a game of 1-a-side at the park.

QuickAndDirtyTips.com have some good, no-equipment, do-at-home 10 minute workouts.

Even simple things like taking the stairs instead of the lift and parking a little further away from the office will help.

3. Maintain contact with your children and agree an initial contact plan.

For some, this is one of the hardest things to do because it involves maintaining contact with the ex.

For others, all they want to do is ensure both parents can maintain a strong, nourishing relationship with their children.

Sometimes, unfortunately, the former can inadvertently prevent contact with the children. If this is you, get over it.

I know it seems harsh, and it is, but you need to put your children before whatever squabbles you have with your ex, whoever wronged or was wronged it is unimportant.

Make sure that you are trying to contact your children, regardless of how much you’ve been hurt.

Make sure you are not preventing the other parent from contacting their children, regardless of how much you’ve been hurt.

Not contacting your children is selfish, ignorant and unfair to them. Preventing contact with their children is not only selfish, ignorant and unfair to them, it is child abuse.

Separated or not, children should be allowed access to all parents, grandparents, extended family, etc. Legitimate protection from abuse notwithstanding.

That ugly truth out of the way, let’s look at making a plan.

Somehow, you need to find a way to communicate with your former partner to create and agree this plan.

Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be complicated and depending on your current relationship with them it could be a simple statement of what you would like or intend to do.

Consider this a ‘gateway’ agreement. The Parenting Plan and Separation Agreement we’ll discuss shortly are more in-depth.

Once you’ve gotten over the first hurdle of making any agreement, the rest will become easier. Your ultimate goal should be a 50/50 care split, or as close to it as you can achieve, but this could take time.

In the early stages of separation, if at all possible, try to maintain daily contact with your children. Current smartphones, tablets and data packages should mean that a 30 minute daily video call after school or to read bedtime stories is easily achievable.

Do the school run.

If you’ve been able to stay relatively close by, driving or walking your children to or from school a couple of times a week will do wonders for maintaining your relationship with them and keep you current with their lives.

Most bosses will, with an appropriately worded request, allow you to make a small adjustment to your shifts if needed to accommodate this.

Have them stay during the week as well as at weekends. Effectively, you need to be proactive.

The current system seems to still be stuck in the dark ages of “allowing” alternate weekend “visitation”.

Don’t wait to be told what you’re allowed to do, ask/state up front what you are willing and able to do – and make whatever sacrifices you must to make it possible.

Thankfully however, perceptions are changing. You should be aiming for a 50/50 care split, so you need to do what you can to enable your ability to deliver on it.

More and more research is demonstrating the value to the child of having regular and consistent access to both parents, and this is slowly being heeded by the parents themselves and the courts where necessary.

So, the plan…

I’ve created a free template for this for you to amend, but the same rules apply whether you’re amending the template to suit, or creating your own entirely…

Sleep on it.

It is, for agreements of this nature, best to have them in writing. Even an unsigned letter is better than nothing because it at least outlines what you’ve said you’re willing to do and is something you can hold yourself, and be held, accountable for.

However, it is also very easy to become emotional and this can inadvertently transfer into your written plan.

For this reason, sleep on it, re-read it, amend it, sleep on it again, have someone else read it, amend it and repeat. You’re aiming for an objective, unemotional action plan that your former partner is unlikely to take as an ‘attack’ on how they are doing (or have done) things.

Once you’re happy with your draft – yes, draft – send it to your ex for review and comment. They may not agree with everything – nor do they have to.

Invite and accept their opinions and comments, and have sound reasons for the things you’ve suggested or asked for. Ask for clarity and reasons for things they’ve asked for – but don’t be obtuse about it.

Rather than “why do have you asked for this…?” try “I think you’ve asked for this because…. is that right?” which you are probably asking because you don’t agree, so you can follow with “If so, I understand. Maybe a compromise could be… which would allow you to… and me to… so the kids get the best of…”

Ultimately, the basis of the plan should be to enable regular and frequent contact with the children by both parents.

Shift and overseas work can make these things difficult and you MUST do your best to accommodate them. At the same time, if you’re the one with the ‘difficult’ shifts, you too have to be as flexible as you can – for the sake of the kids.

Negotiate and compromise.

Bite your tongue. Stay calm, rational and reasonable. If something is a sticking point, suggest a review of it at a (specified) later date.

There will be no perfect solution that doesn’t involve you both having to flex some.

By demonstrating that you’re willing to put the welfare of the children first, your former partner is likely to see the value in that and follow suit.

4. Reduce your expenses.

While it appears daunting, this is relatively easy to do. Your expenses are about to go up my friend, if they haven’t done so already, so you may have to give up one or two luxuries for the time being.

Things like reviewing your mobile phone contract, TV subscriptions, changing a few brands at the supermarket and shopping around the next time your car insurance comes up to renew can have a marked difference on the cash leaving your account.

Take a look at “How to find £3,000 and more time to spend with the kids”, for a detailed guide on how to keep as much of that cash as possible available for you and your children.

I also have a few posts on how to save on your groceries, apps that can help with your savings and spending and things you can do when money is tight.

5. Create a space for your children in your home.

Within your new, slightly humbler surroundings you need to create a similar space for your children. They need somewhere that is theirs, that they can call home, when they’re with you.

Avoid temporary, pull out beds and the like and make maximum use of the space you have available by using bunk beds, ‘loft’ beds or triple sleepers for example.

Children will suffer from the same stresses we discussed above for you, so they too need to have a little bit of home away from home. Their permanent space in your place.

Ensure they have somewhere for their clothes, toys and books, even if only a couple of drawers or shelves. Provide somewhere they can sit comfortably to work, play, and be creative. Make sure there is space for you to be together at times, and alone when appropriate.

Where possible use furniture such as shelves to create screens for ‘solo spaces’ and be courteous with things like music and TV, keep the volume down or use headphones so they can have their alone time without feeling you’re hovering or encroaching on their space.

Make it fun.

This whole separation and two homes affair is as tough, if not more so, on the children as it is on you.

Make it a little more fun for them by adding some simple, inexpensive age appropriate decoration and a spark of inspiration when you first show them around. Add a run of fairy lights and a castle poster and say the fairies must have done it because they knew a princess was moving in, or a bamboo cane and flag to a bunk bed to ward off other pirates.

Though this applies more to your space than theirs, hang photographs of them and things they’ve done or pictures they’ve made.

These will not only remind you of why you’re making sacrifices, but it will make them feel loved and valued – on top of what you tell them already. Seeing something you’ve achieved, or even just a picture of you, proudly displayed somewhere can be really uplifting.

This is especially true for your children, you’re not just telling them you’re proud of them, you’re showing them.

6. Start a project – not a hobby.

There is a difference. Projects have a tangible outcome, so restoring that motorcycle, building a cabinet or something that will allow you to achieve a goal are the sorts of things you should be doing.

There are a string of benefits to you – at the end, you will have achieved something and will feel the pride associated with it.

Before that, you will have something positive to focus on, you’ll be engaging your brain and you’ll have something to talk about too. You could even start a blog!

Your project doesn’t need to be expensive – you can lean languages for free or borrow a guitar from a friend who doesn’t use it.

Just make sure you have a real, defined and specific goal, like being able to play a particular song on the guitar in time to the original as a backing track.

Whatever you do, keep track of your progress and celebrate your successes – more on this in point 9 – Take time for you.

7. Get organised

Similar to the exercise, this can have a profound effect on your mood and stress levels, as well as those around you and your visitors (think boss and kids).

The more organised you are, the more efficiently you can do things and the more comfortable and relaxed you’ll be.

The same is true of your kids when they stay, no, live, with you. A cluttered, untidy environment will not help their education, happiness or stress.

A homely, organised niche of their own at your place will.

This is something that you have full control over and with a little bit of thought and inspiration it can be achieved at little to no cost.

Have a read through my guide How to Get Organised: Practical Tips for Parents, for more.

8. Create and agree a parenting plan.

You must accept that your ex is still a parent, and as such has an important role in your child’s upbringing. As long as it is safe to do so, shared or co-parenting is normally the best option for your child.

A parenting plan allows you to set and agree expectations for the practical aspects of raising your children.

They include things like living arrangements, education and health care as well as what decisions can be made individually or need to be made jointly.

It should be a written document for the reasons discussed earlier; as well as being a useful reference to go back to that helps everyone to understand what is expected of whom.

In the event that you have to go to court in future, the judges are likely to expect you to have started a parenting plan.

It is in your interests to have one – for the sake of your children – and while it is not a legally binding agreement the courts are likely to take a dim view of you breaking commitments you have made in the plan.

With a well thought out and written parenting plan, in conjunction with the separation plan we’ll look into shortly, you may well find you can reach suitable agreements on your separation without the need for going to court.

It is however, always a good idea to seek legal advice and where possible to ensure agreements are binding.

Circumstances change, as by now you well know, and should they change again in future you need to be sure that commitments will be honoured, with legal intervention if truly necessary.

There are a number of free online resources for creating a parenting plan, some of which I’ve listed below, courtesy of the government CAFCASS website. There, you will find several options and links to download or order free PDF and Word templates as well as links to external organisations to help create free online plans.

Online Parenting Plan (Splitting up? Put Kids First)

Parenting Plan Word Doc (CAFCASS)

Parenting Plan PDF (CAFCASS)

Parenting Plan Guidance (CAFCASS)

Parenting Plan Summary of Progress (CAFCASS)

Listening to your child’s voice after separation (CAFCASS)

What is CAFCASS? The Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service. A mouthful!

From their own website:

Cafcass represents children in family court cases in England. We put children’s needs, wishes and feelings first, making sure that children’s voices are heard at the heart of the family court setting, and that decisions are made in their best interests. Operating within the law set by Parliament (Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000) and under the rules and directions of the family courts, we are independent of the courts, social services, education and health authorities and all similar agencies.

Our duty is to safeguard and promote the welfare of children going through the family justice system. Our experienced Family Court Advisers may be asked by the court to work with families and then advise the court on what we consider to be the best interests of the children involved in three main areas:

  • divorce and separation, sometimes called ‘private law’, where parents or carers can’t agree on arrangements for their children
  • care proceedings, sometimes called ‘public law’, where social services have serious concerns about the safety or welfare of a child
  • adoption, which can be either public or private law.

The latter bit is the bit that would apply to you – so it is in your interests to use their guidance.

If your divorce does go to court regarding childcare (and I hope it doesn’t ever get to that stage) these are the people who will assess the best interests of your child and advise the court.

As you put things together, you will probably find there is some overlap with the communication, parenting and separation plans. This is normal, and you may wish to combine some of the elements, however…

It is typically better to have several separate agreements and plans linked together than one cover-all one. This way, changes to one element such as the parenting plan (a change of school as they get older), does not require an update of the whole agreement.

This is beneficial because other changes in circumstance may mean that one party is seeking a variation (such as a monthly payment amount) that the other does not agree to. By having separate elements one can be updated while the variation to the other is negotiated.

Expect to include the following in you your parenting plan:

A statement that you will both put your child’s welfare and interests ahead of your own.

How you will communicate with one another.
How you will resolve disagreements.
What you will do if your financial positions change.

What parenting decisions can be made individually.
What parenting decisions need to be discussed.

How you will share important information (medical, dental, school, etc.)
How you will handle emergencies (injuries, illnesses, etc.)
Who will arrange routine healthcare (annual check-ups etc.)

Agreed shared ‘house rules’ such as bedtimes, homework times, dietary restrictions.
Agreed mandatory activities such as swimming lessons.

How you will ensure continued contact with extended family members & friends from both sides.
How you will introduce new partners to the children.

Where the children will live, how often and for how long.
How you will care for the children during school and bank holidays, teacher training days etc.
Who else may care for the children (childminders, babysitters, in-laws, new partners etc.)

How you will share holidays, important dates, religious festivals etc.
Whether the children can travel abroad & under what conditions (school trips, holidays etc.)

How and when the children can be contacted by the other parent (phone, video call, etc.)

How costs will be shared for day-to-day and larger purchases (clothes, sports equipment, musical instruments etc.)
Whether you will agree a child maintenance payment amount, or agree that care is equal and therefore costs are equal.

Who will claim child tax credit and other applicable benefits for each child (it is possible for each parent to claim for a different child, enabling both to receive a full and equal benefit entitlement)

How you will attend events such as school plays, sports days, award ceremonies etc. (including where seating/tickets are limited)

How you will agree, fund and ensure attendance of extra curricular activities and clubs (sports, music lessons etc.)

What you agree regarding religious and cultural practices and upbringing.

Who should have custody in the event of the death of one or both parents.

As you can see, there are a number of things to consider when it comes to co-parenting your children and this list is by no means exhaustive. Use these points as a guide for discussion to create your own agreement, and review several of the templates available to you.

There are often cases where one parent may feel it is the other’s responsibility to produce this sort of documentation.

If this is your situation, create the plan yourself but ensure that you have made is as genuinely fair as possible. You know your ex, make sure it contains clear benefits to them and obvious compromises for you both where applicable.

Taking advantage of authoring the plan to write it in your favour is inappropriate and likely to result in its outright rejection, making it much more difficult to agree on later.

The purpose of a plan is to ensure your children receive the best care from both parents, keep this in mind at all times.

9. Take time for you.

Everyone is different, but everyone will also need to take some time to ‘grieve’ and to get over the relationship in order to move on.

For some, this happens even before the relationship ends, while for others it can be difficult to accept an emotional separation even after a divorce is final.

Some people ‘need’ to be with someone, others don’t. Neither personality is right or wrong, but it is important to understand that without adequate time (and effort) to heal, the pain and scars can be taken with you into the next relationship – and cause a lot of damage.

How long should I wait before I start a new relationship?

The ‘right’ amount of time to wait varies by individual, but typically the longer the relationship, the longer the wait. A month of ‘recovery’ for every year together is a good guideline.

The crux is that time is not really the determining factor – your self worth is. When you feel like you, when you’re comfortable with who you are and what you can offer – you’re about ready.

How will I know I’m ready to date?

When your ex no longer occupies your thoughts or conversations, positive or negative, consciously or subconsciously, it’s a good sign you’ve moved on and are ready to keep moving on.

So, what are you doing to do until then?

Stuff for you. In point 6 we discussed starting a project, well, here is where you fit in those hobbies and activities you wanted to try, places you wanted to visit.

Go clay pigeon shooting, paddle boarding or on a track day, try a local walking, photography, book or writing club. Visit national landmarks and so on.

I’m not saying fill your time and spend all your money on you – I firmly believe your kids need more of both than you do, I am saying that you need to make time for you. Even if it is just a once every six weeks chilli night with friends.

Some people, and I’m one of them, can write off almost everything they’ve ever done or achieved – completely unintentionally – and think “I’ve never been anywhere” or “I’ve never done anything” and so on.

The reality is somewhat different, but the brain isn’t always so good at self praise and recognition, especially after something like a separation.

The solution is simple, and is the same as I’ve said about showing your kids you support and value them.

Hang pictures.


Go and do stuff – and get a photo of you doing it, or being there (I know this can be difficult – especially at first, asking strangers to take a photo of you – ask anyway, you’ll get over it. I promise).

Show yourself that you support and value you. Remind yourself that you’ve been places, tried new things, eaten weird food and succeeded at challenges.

Some of you will balk at the idea of having photos of yourself about the place as coming off as some ego-maniac. I get it.

However, I also understand that your ego is at least bruised, if not more, after ending a relationship. There is no harm in patting yourself on the back, and certainly no harm in having reminders of times you’ve enjoyed.

An alternative to hanging “too many” pictures would be to set your computer/phone/tv screensaver to a slideshow of your favourites. This is my preference, and my favourite photos are from a couple of hiking trips with friends, including a Boxing Day climb of Mt. Snowdon.

Now, however far down the line it is for you, you’ll feel like yourself, like you’re an awesome dad (and you will be) and as though you’ve been places, done things and have something to offer (and you have, and you do!).

You’ll not only be ready to date, you’ll be Mr Perfect for someone – you’ll have a proven record of being Superdad, loads to talk about and experiences to share. You’ll be comfortable within yourself and you won’t be that guy who spent the entire time talking/moaning/comparing his ex.

10. Plan

Well, your time with your kids is, potentially, limited.

If you didn’t plan before, now is definitely the time to start.

It’s amazing what you can fit into a day or a weekend by planning things out in advance. Even when you don’t stick to the plan, you still get more done than when you roll out of bed, stroll through breakfast and find yourself at 3pm.

Use the time you don’t spend with your kids planning what you’ll do with them.

A word of caution though – don’t be a Disney Dad.

I’m not saying don’t have fun. Do. Lots.

I’m saying balance it out so you do just as much of the homework, discipline and sensible bedtimes.

Remember the parenting plan? Making sure your kids enjoy their time with you is paramount, but not at the expense of frustrating or deliberately causing problems for your ex.

After all, they have the power to make it difficult for you to see them, just as you do when they’re with you.

Don’t abuse it.

Plan everything from what you’re going to cook, to days out and days in playing board games (not watching TV or playing Xbox/iPad etc).

Interact with and teach your kids, regardless of their age.

I still learn from my parents now, as your kids should learn from you.

For more on planning, read “How to REALLY up your dad game”.

11. Get and keep a diary.

This may seem daft, but it’s incredibly important.

I’m not suggesting you keep a record of your feelings and emotional state here, though that does have proven benefits.

It’s important because during something as emotionally charged as separation it’s easy to lose track of who said or did what and when, and you could need proof just far enough in the future to have forgotten the details.

If you’re reading this, its likely you were in a longer term relationship – so there are things to think about like who owns what, who should pay the bills and for some, there will be arrangements for the kids too.

Use this diary specifically to keep a log of all the things that you have done in relation to your separation and if applicable, your kids.

Keep a note of requests and questions asked, as well as information given – like when the next bill is due, how much and whether you’ve taken steps to transfer responsibility.

Where there are children involved, record contact and activities with them with reasons, dates, times and durations.

Record the dates and times of phone calls and school pick ups, trips and activities, overnight visits etc. Keep notes of the things you’ve done with your kids, take pictures and videos. Log exchange of documents such as the contact, parenting and separation plans we’ll discuss shortly.

While technology can be fantastic for keeping these sorts of records, don’t solely rely on your phone to keep them. Don’t rely on your computer either.

By all means, use them, and use them well – use a call & video call recording app, take screenshots, email your WhatsApp conversations to yourself (yes, you can do that). But BACK IT UP.

12. Create and agree a separation plan.

There is a common misconception that after separation one parent should provide for the other, so the other can provide for the kids. Don’t be these people.

Allow each parent sufficient financial independence to be able to support themselves and their children as well as to move on with their lives without financial penalty. Marriage is a joint venture, neither party should be penalised on separation.

This separation plan will have several links to the parenting plan previously discussed, but is more focussed on the split of your assets and future financial planning.

As before, the document should be written with fairness first and is unrelated to any “blame” for the ending of the relationship.

Fair does not mean that one should be compensated for something, nor does it mean equal. Fair is a financial solution that allows both parents to continue with their own, separate lives whilst still being able to provide a safe and appropriate environment for raising children.

It is likely that both parents will have to compromise.

The big sticking blocks are typically the family home, pensions, savings and cars. Joint debts will also feature high on the list.

If you’re the one moving out, it is natural to feel that you are the one being penalised when considering the loss of your home or pension.

Try to look at things objectively. The other parent still needs to be able to care for your children, and this costs money.

If you are seeking a 50% care arrangement, then it is a lot easier to justify a lower contribution on the basis that you also need to provide food, shelter etc. and possibly to duplicate things that were previously unnecessary.

You need for example to buy beds, bedding etc. Your home contents should be insured for 30-50k plus, because this is how much it could cost to replace – or duplicate – it all, even in smaller homes, and this may be what you now have to do.

You still however, need to contribute a sufficient amount to enable the kids to have a safe and stable home.

From the other side though, don’t demand full ownership of the family home, pensions, cash etc. when you don’t need it.

They don’t owe you. They owe the kids.

If you take all the money/home/only car etc. how can they possibly hope to be a successful parent?

Both parents have to be able to provide care.

In all likelihood you each have your own financial provisions – don’t seek to hurt one another financially, it will rub off on the children in later life.

Put selfishness aside and ask yourself “If I take this, can they still… (do the school run, provide a suitable home, take them to activities…)?” if not, it is your problem and you need to find a way to do without so that they can still provide for your children.

Negotiate a fair share of assets & liabilities after separation.

Going forward – protect the kids financially.

There are probably life insurance policies in place with your former partner as the beneficiary. It can undoubtedly be tempting to cancel these. Don’t.

If you pass away, are unable to care for the children or provide any financial support for them, who suffers?

The children, not your ex.

Keep the policy in place and funded until the children are at a stage in life where they can truly fend for themselves. If you need to, change the beneficiary to the children or to set up a trust to benefit them.

Points to include in your separation agreement:

A statement that you will both put your child’s welfare and interests ahead of your own.

How you will communicate with one another.
How you will resolve disagreements.
What you will do if your financial positions change.

Who will retain control of ‘joint’ accounts.
How money in ‘joint’ accounts will be divided.

Who will pay what portion of joint debts, and what steps will be taken to transfer these debts into sole names where possible.

How joint property will be divided both now and in the future. How agreements will be reached as to the value of this property, now and in the future.

How pensions will be shared, if at all.

What insurance provisions must be met and maintained, how this will be evidenced and how often.

How you will resolve matters if one party does not stick to the agreement.

Once you have reached an agreement it is sensible to make this legally binding. Circumstances change and without a binding agreement, one could seek court action against the other at a much later date.

Discuss a ‘consent order’ with a divorce solicitor, these can also be done online relatively cheaply, but are, in effect, an ‘insurance policy’ for you financial future.


So, gentlemen, with these steps, you should find the transition less stressful than it might otherwise have been, move into the future with growing confidence and most importantly be able to maintain a great relationship with your offspring.

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12 steps essential to a smooth separation - Dynamic Dad
12 steps essential for a smooth separation - Dynamic Dad
12 steps essential to a smooth separation - Dynamic Dad

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    2 Responses

    1. Another great post with some real helpful pointers – I am in the process of trying to salvage my marriage and alot of these will help me with where I am now 🙂

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