Episode 18 - Preparing For SeparationDec 20, 2022
In this episode, Becca talks about helping those who are knowing that their relationships are coming to an end, but are yet to communicate it to their partner. Becca will guide you through the difficult process of expressing your intention for a separation or divorce.
Becca will provide the essential tips needed so you can start this process with newfound clarity and confidence. Listen in as Becca helps unfold the best way to go forward, easing each individual's unique circumstances.
Welcome to the Do Divorce Right podcast. I'm your host, Becca Maxwell. And I'm here to help you transition through your divorce with ease and integrity, to not only survive the challenges of your divorce, but to thrive as you come out the other side of it with a much better life than you ever hoped possible. On this show, we talk about many different aspects of divorce, interview women who have their own incredible divorce stories, or those who can offer some great advice as you go through yours. The focus here is to help you find the strength and support to help you feel lighter, happier, more positive, and in a better frame of mind to face the inevitable challenges of your current journey.
Today's episode is for those of you who are at the end of your relationship, but perhaps haven't yet had the conversation that you would like to be separated, or you'd like to have a divorce. So if this is you or somebody you care about, please have a listen to this episode, make sure your friend gets access to this episode, and have them really think through what we're going through today. So your friend, you or your friend, you're done. You can't imagine yourself in this relationship anymore, you've had enough. And now you need to have the conversation. The first thing I really want you to think through is your physical safety. This is a tough conversation to have. And if you are at all afraid of your physical safety, please make sure you address that first. Don't even move on to the next part of this podcast that is your highest priority. How can you and or your children, make sure that you are safe and secure before having this conversation? If that means moving out and you know putting yourself in somebody else's home, before meeting up to have the conversation and please do what you need to do. Then, before you have the conversation, I'd like you to have a think through these questions. Now these questions are designed to help you envision in vision the near future. So it's imagining what is it that could possibly happen over the coming months or, you know, immediately after having had this conversation? What kind of arrangements are you going to get into you will not be able to make these decisions on your own. They are going to form the basis of a conversation. And you will need to be flexible with what the final solution is. Because obviously there are the two of you to have this conversation. But if you have an idea of what you're aiming for, or at least what you think might be a reasonable way forward, you'll be able to have a much more productive conversation when the time is right. Okay, so you're done. You want to have the conversation, please think through carefully the answer to these questions. I do have a download that you can email me at hello at do divorce right.com or DM me on the socials. And I will get this PDF to you with the questions all written down. And hopefully soon, I'll have it all automated on the website. And you can just download it yourself. But so far, I haven't set that up yet. So the first question to think about is, in your imagining, what do you think is the most reasonable solution to who is moving out? Where will they go to? And when will that happen? So very, very practical solutions, you have to think about best case scenario, what do you think is most reasonable? Again, you can't make this decision on your own. But you can certainly imagine and think through the answer to these questions. So the person who's moving out, what access will they have to the marital home once they've moved out? Will they have a spare key? Will they be able to come and go as they please? It has been their home? Or will they have to then knock on the door when they come by? Will you have a shedule have access to the house. So think through what does that excess look like? How easily can that person come and go from the home that they've been living in? It could be you from that home that you've been living in over this period of the marriage. The next question is well where if you have children, where will the children spend what time so in which homes will they live? There's a lot of different options with co parenting. You'll you might want to try A lot of different formats here. It's not about making the decision with these questions. It's about creating some energy and imaginings around it so that you have at least thought it through. So where will the children spend? What time? How will they get from one place to another? Who's doing pickups and drop offs? Will you be walking distance? Are the children old enough to walk on their own? Can they be trusted to do that? Will they disappear? What do you think is a reasonable way for that to happen? Who will take them to to school and pick them up? If that's something that your family is? is already doing? Somebody's doing pickup and drop off? Who will? Who will do that moving forward? And from which homes? Under what circumstances? Can the children leave town? You know how? How often or regularly? Can your ex take the children into stage? Or, you know, a few hours drive away? Or even overseas? What does that look like to you? When and in what way? Will you tell the children? Again, there's lots of resources around age appropriate talking to the children, please let me know if you need some help in this in this area about what age appropriate ways to talk to your children. But think through before having the conversation with your ex about how will you break it to the children? What language will you use? How much detail will you go into? Will you wait until the second home is set up and ready for them? So have a think through? Then think through when and in what way will you tell the parents? At some point, it will become very public. So how will you tell your parents or your family members? What about friends? What about other adults? What about your Facebook status? Like we don't need to worry about that straightaway. But just think through? When will you be telling people that know your family? Who gets access to which bank accounts? And for what purpose? Can you use the money? So I'll talk a little bit more about documents and discovery later. But just thinking through the very, very practical access to your your marital funds, you know, how have you been using finances today? And how might that look like if you're in two separate homes? Do you have separate bank accounts that you can access easily? If you have a joint bank account? Who has access to that now? What can they spend? Is their access to credit cards? Who gets to use which credit cards if there are any? For what purpose? Can you use them? Can they can can you furnish your new home using credit cards that you will both pay off? Who will pay them off? What limits do you agree to place on the use of each card, it can be very helpful to set a limit or agree a limit between the two of you something that feels reasonable might it might be I won't spend more than $200 on a purchase without clearing that with your first from a joint bank account. You know, it could or it can only be used for groceries and bills. Anything outside of that. I'll talk to you just have a think through what feels reasonable. Again, before having that conversation of wanting to separate on that on the finances and credit cards and who might have access to what what consequences will flow on if one of you violates the agreement. So not just on finances, I guess on any of it what what happens then if they don't move out? Or if one of you violates the agreement that you're making today. Is it possible to articulate what those consequences look like? Have a think about it again. You might not have the answers to everything straight away. Take your time. Who's going to pay what bills? Is it as simple as saying your home your bills? Remember you've had one shared home and now you're going to have two separate homes. So of course the bills double or they don't exactly double but you know there will be a change in in expenditure. So who's going to pay what moving forward? What about insurances and investments and savings? Thinking again on the threat of finances will one of you pay support to the other one What does that look like? In your idea of a reasonable working arrangement for separation? These are not legally binding. At this point, it's for the two of you to have a discussion around what feels reasonable what feels appropriate throughout the separation? And then you'll you'll come to making final decisions later. What do these first few weeks and months look like?
Well, we both agree not to sell any major assets or make extraordinary purchases, like a boat or a convertible car. Now that you're single, would you agree to not make those kinds of expenses, or make any other major withdrawals from family family accounts without consulting the other? I mentioned earlier about having perhaps a daily limit or an expenditure limit, you know, what feels reasonable? Thinking through then your boundaries and your your communication, how you communicate with each other, that you're going to meet in person to talk through the separation and the arrangements? How often do you intend to reconnect and check on the arrangement? Whether it's working? Will you talk by phone? Will you email? Is it okay to call each other at work? Or not? Should everything be on Messenger or email? So that it's in writing? Have a have a think through what feels right? Aim for the least amount of conflict? You know, I don't want you to think, okay, it all needs to be in writing, because it'll be taken to the lawyers. Please imagine the best case scenario moving forward. Is it possible for the two of you to communicate well in person or to communicate well, with without having to automatically think about lawyers and high conflict, you know, divisions? Then let's take that one step further. The relationship is over. You're communicating, ideally, openly and truthfully. And honestly, you're communicating to the children and your family about the separation, and that by the end of the marriage, let's assume all is going really, really well. What freedoms then do each of you have to form a new relationship? Are you free to date? That might feel okay, might feel icky, however, think through that. If you've decided that it's okay for you both to date or for one of you to date? Is it okay to be seen dating in public? Is it okay to be affectionate in public? Is it okay for company to spend the night I don't want you to spend too much time unraveling these thoughts and how awful it might feel, you know, to to have somebody approach you and say they saw your ex being affectionate in public with somebody. But it is worth having a think through this now so that you can be prepared for these kinds of conversations. This is an evolution of your your separation. Another thing to think about, which also might feel a bit ache at this point is what kind of sexual relationship with the two of you have, if this is a separation, that is a trial separation? Perhaps you want to stay connected in this way. So think through that. If you've agreed not to have intimate relationships with each other, what assurances to each of you need? Or do you have that you'll be faithful to the agreement? So, you know, do you need to be feeling chemistry at some point? Is there a reminder word that note, we're not doing this? We really want to give this separation? A proper trial. If you haven't agreed to not have a sexual relationship, so if you are going to continue that, how are you going to avoid pregnancy and STDs? Like just make sure you're covered? And you know, have that addressed? Have a think about it? And the last thing to consider really is if both of you are willing to consider marriage counseling is is there an opportunity? Is this a trial separation and you're thinking about, you know, a life apart, but also considering the fact that it might come back together. So if you're willing to consider further marriage counseling, when would you like to consider that when might you be able to Put that in the diary. Can you have a break for a few months and then decide to go and see someone together? If not, if you're done done. And he agrees that you're done done, if it's if marriage counseling is just not an option, are you both willing to agree to the date of separation, as I mentioned earlier about being separated under one roof, you can certainly move into separate rooms, you can stay in the same home, if it's safe and practical to do so. If you can agree to that date of separation, then you know, that 12 months from now you're able to start the formal process of divorce. So there's, there's quite a lot of questions there, there's a lot to think through. Again, you're not necessarily going to have all of the answers, you can't create these answers on your own. It is a discussion, not not a dictate. And then from there, you need to start going into discovery. So but what I mean by discovery is you need to start collecting a list of your financial position exactly what is in the marriage. So I'll go into that in a separate sorry, not what is in the marriage, but you know, that assets and liabilities, I think that's worth a whole separate conversation. In fact, you might be able to go back to some conversations that I've had with guests around the financial aspects. But the end, let me go into that separately. So first, please be assured of your physical safety, do what it takes to keep you and or any children safe for this conversation. Secondly, have a think through all of these questions. What does this separation looks like to you, in the next few weeks and months, what is a practical working arrangement for your separation, that are thinking through these questions just helps you have a much more productive conversation when it comes to when it comes to it. And then thirdly, you'll go into collating all of the documents and the discovery of the details. So that you can have a better idea of where your position is, what your position is, before you go into the actual separation and divorce. I have have mentioned that this is all in a PDF, these questions are in a in a PDF that you can fill in yourself. Please contact me if you'd like access to that if you'd like a copy of it at any point. And I'll give that to you for free, no problem. Take care. And also remember, please that you do not have to do this alone. There is a lot of support available to you. And if ever you feel that you need a coach to help through this difficult time, please don't hesitate to reach out. I do offer a free 30 minute discovery call and we can cover quite a lot in that discussion before we even begin working together. Stay well.
Thanks for listening. I hope you took something of value out of this episode. I'm your host Becca Maxwell. And you can find me on the web at dodivorceright.com or on Instagram at dodivorceright. I look forward to connecting with you there.