There is no storm quite like an emotional storm, and the trauma of a separation from a loved one can be devastating and overwhelming. Some people say it feels as if the ground is falling away beneath their feet. It helps if you know there’s somewhere you can go right away for help: Citizens Advice.
If you and your partner or spouse have decided that separation is inevitable, you should try to work out the practical details between yourselves. But bear in mind that you might eventually need to consult a solicitor as well to enshrine your agreement in law, especially if you have assets or children. Going to court should be regarded as a last resort.
Discuss with your ex-partner where you will live, where your children will live, and how to split any money or belongings. If you and your partner are too upset to talk to each other calmly, wait and talk later, or use a mediator.
If your partner makes you feel threatened, get help. Call Refuge or Women’s Aid on 0808 2000 247. There is also a Men’s Advice Line on 0808 801 0327.
If you have children with your partner, you are both responsible for the cost of looking after them when you separate, even if you are not married. The parent who moves out might have to pay maintenance to the parent who looks after the children.
Consider any outstanding debts or loans that you might have, and think about who needs to be informed about the separation. If you pay council tax, or receive benefits or tax credits, get in touch with the relevant people and tell them about your new status.
Citizens Advice can help you find the ground beneath your feet so you can move on. Call Citizens Advice Adviceline on 0300 3309 042 or come and see us in person. For locations of offices and opening hours visit https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/local/oxfordshire-south-vale