Ending a marriage, is a difficult and scary experience. For a lot of people this is a new experience and one that comes with tons of speculation and often time bad advice from outside people. Here are few of the common misconceptions we are presented with on a daily basis, and some pointers to at least help you get started during the early stages of your separation.
1. Many times people will ask if they need a document or something to say they are legally separated. No, parties are separated when they decide to live separate and apart with the intent not to resume the marital relationship. Put simply the day one or both persons leave, is the date of separation. There is not paperwork or legal documentation necessary. Also remember to be separated one of the parties has to move out of the residence.
2. DO NOT FEAR “ABANDONMENT”- many of our clients are in constant fear that if they leave they will be guilty of abandonment. While there are limited circumstance where this allegation could be brought, for the most part this is an overblown concern. Having said that it would be wise to discuss or at least have a plan for payment of various marital debts and other obligations upon separation. The last thing a person should want is to allow the confusion of separation to lead to defaults on loans and other obligations.
3. Consider what is in the best interest of your children, at least for the short term. When people with kids separate it can be extremely difficult for all involved. No matter how angry or hurt you maybe it is important to remember that this time is even harder on your kids. Without a court order the custody of you kids is in limbo, and the children can be placed in a custody tug-a-war until a hearing can be had by a judge. Therefore it can certainly make this transition easier if both parents can agree to some type of temporary agreement for visitation/custody upon separation. This certainly does not have to be a permanent arrangement, but were feasible it is a good idea to at least try to have something in place for the short term.