When Love Has Gone: Five Steps Towards
11th February 2019 by Caroline MacBeath Posted Under: Separation
Separating from your partner or spouse will always be difficult. Follow these five steps at the
initial relationship breakdown to be in the best position to move forward with life after
Step 1: Decide Who Will Leave
You need to decide who will leave the joint home and where your children or pets will live.
You will in most cases both have occupancy rights, whether or not you jointly own/lease the
property. Both of you can choose to remain in the property however this can cause
difficulties, even in an amicable separation.
Step 2: Gather Documents
In a relationship various assets (possessions) are accumulated and various liabilities (debts)
are incurred. You need to know what these are.
Most couples keep papers together in one place. Even if you’re remaining in the home it’s
essential that you gather and, if necessary, photocopy all documentation you can find relating
to assets and liabilities. The more paperwork you have the better informed you will be.
This step is even more important if you have been content to allow your partner to deal with
all the finances during the relationship.
Step 3: Make A List
Once you’ve gathered the documents, make a list of everything with values as at date of
separation where you can. This is particularly important if you are married because the assets
and liabilities are the “matrimonial property.”
Matrimonial property is defined as any property acquired during the marriage and owned by
the parties at the date of the separation. It is intended to include property acquired by the
parties by their own efforts. This means inheritances and gifts from third parties are excluded
from the definition of matrimonial property. Most property acquired by one party before
marriage is also excluded, unless it was purchased for use as a family home. However, if
inheritances and gifts are used during the marriage to acquire other assets t