Once you have made the decision to terminate the relationship, and hopefully, both partners are ready to acknowledge that the family restructuring is inevitable, it’s time to address the big issue: your money!
Here are the questions to ask:
1. How will I and my former partner support yourselves and the children?
2. Into which bank accounts will our incomes / wages be deposited?
3. Who will pay which bills and debts?
4. Which bills should be cancelled and what new accounts are necessary (e.g. credit card or utilities)?
5. Who will stay in the house and who will move out?
6. How will the rent or mortgage be paid?
7. What will happen with joint bank accounts?
8. What will happen to the house, car, furniture, and other assets?
The more you and your partner can discuss and agree on these issues together, the easier the separation will be for you both. Some couples can resolve at least some issues on their own, while others engage the services of a Family Mediator.
Of course, there may be decisions where you reach a complete impasse. No matter what, the parties don’t agree whatsoever and there’s nothing left to do except ask the Court to make the decision and use the guidance of your family law lawyer to navigate this stalemate.
- Note: If the break-up is high conflict, you may need to act quickly so it’s prudent to get a lawyer involved early in the process. The lawyer will tell you if it’s necessary to ‘freeze’ assets or file a Certificate of Pending Litigation to protect real estate.