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I have left my partner, what do we do now?

View profile for Greg Cross
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Making the decision to end your relationship and leave your partner can feel like a sense of relief for some but for many it also leaves you with a lot of questions about what you do next about separation, divorce, access to your children, what happens to any joint property and assets.

When you have made the decision to end your marriage or civil partnership, this may have come as a shock to your partner and they may not be ready to discuss practicalities. It can be best for you to give them some space and time before you start to ask questions and expect them to have the answers. Communication is a key aspect of sorting out arrangements when you separate and so keeping open communication with your now ex partner can be a positive thing to do as once communication breaks down it can be hard to see and make decision rationally as both sides can then get entrenched in their side only.

Some people can deal with separating ok, for others it will be an emotional roller coaster, where one day they can seem to be alright and coping with the decision but the next day they can be upset and not want to deal with things.

If there are children involved, you both need to come to the agreement that your separation should not come between the children seeing both their parents during the transition, especially if one of you has moved out of the family home and want the children to visit you where you are then staying. Try to not argue or say negative comments about the other parent in front of the children, remember, they have not asked for this and have to deal with it and work through it just the same as the adults have to. You need to keep their routine the same as best you can to keep things stable for them, especially if they are school age and have hobbies/activities.

When you are both ready, or if you as the person who has chosen to leave is ready to take the next step to progress formal separation, Family Mediation is a process you can enter in to where you can discuss matters and family disputes with the support of another person, a mediator to assist you in talking about your family and what’s best for them. The mediation process involves you attending a meeting or series of meetings with your former partner over several weeks. At each meeting, the family mediator will help you discuss whatever issues are at hand and take steps to defuse any conflict so you can come to conclusions and agreements together to benefit your family circumstances. You can discuss family mediation with our family mediator, Chris Myles at our York office.

Once you have made the decision to divorce, it is advisable to speak to a divorce solicitor to get the advice you need for your personal circumstances. You may do this after you have spoken to your ex partner and both agreed that a divorce is the route you want to go down, alternatively, you may decide yourself it is what you want for you and issue divorce proceedings on your ex partner without informing them. There is a lot to consider when you are divorcing and getting the right advice, early in your decision is important for both sides and for the bigger picture of the wider family possibly affected by the separation.

Anyone who has been married for over one year can start divorce proceedings, providing that one or other of the couple is either domiciled in England and Wales when the divorce proceedings have begun or has been resident in England and Wales throughout the period of one year ending with that date. It is irrelevant where the couple were married.

We recommend reading our guide to the divorce process

For advice about your separation or divorce, contact a divorce solicitor at Crombie Wilkinson Solicitors.