Taking steps to define and structure your separation can help you avoid further emotional turmoil, as well as ease the anxieties of the non-initiating spouse.
Here are 10 questions to ask yourself to start your separation off on the right path:
- Who is going to move out?
When and where?
Bear in mind that during a trial separation, in many states, you are still legally married and the rules of property ownership remain the same.
- How and when will the moving-out spouse remove their things?
What will they take?
- How and when can the moving-out spouse access the marital home?
- How will the new residence be financed (rented or purchased)?
What about furniture?
- What are you going to tell your children, their teachers, your family, your friends?
When will you do this?
- Will you commit to counseling as a couple?
- What are your arrangements to secure financial and legal advice?
- Where are the children staying?
Consider holidays, vacations, and other occasions when you may wish to take the children out of town.
- Who will handle bill paying?
What about jointly held credit cards and bank accounts?
- How will you be communicating with each other and how often?