Are you considering separation from your spouse? Are you feeling overwhelmed with your current family situation and can’t see any other way out than separation or divorce?



Now think. There are a few key things you need to consider before separation.

Here’s a quick list of 6 things you need to consider before you separate from your partner.

  1. Think Practically

When we make decisions about our relationships, often we can only focus on the emotions driving our decisions. And it’s natural; we’re only human after all!

But if you’re convinced that separation is the only solution, don’t forget to consider the practical side.

Where will you live? How will you cope financially? Will you be able to work or will you need to reduce your hours to care for the kids, or increase your working hours to cover your bills?

  1. Have Your Support Network Ready

You’re going to need people you love and trust to support you through this emotional time. Make sure you have friends and family that can help you, both emotionally and practically, while you adjust to your life after separation.

  1. Separation Doesn’t Have To Mean Divorce

Separation does not have to end up as divorce. Not all separated couples divorce. If you and your spouse are willing to work on your relationship, maybe a temporary separation is all that it will be.

But be clear with your partner from the outset about your intention behind the separation. Is it just to reflect and have some space, or have you already made your mind up that it’s the end?

  1. Who Will Get What?

This is usually where the arguments begin between separating and divorcing couples.

You may assume something will automatically become yours, but your ex may have other ideas. This could relate to anything from the tiniest of trinkets, to your house, pets, or even custody of your kids.

  1. How Will You Tell The Kids?

If you’ve got children, their feelings will need to be considered right from the start. This is something that should really be decided and communicated jointly by parents if possible, to try and minimise the emotional impact of the news.

Not all separations are amicable, so this may not be possible. But try to keep your emotions at bay when telling your children the news. They may be shocked and upset and if you’re upset as well, it could end up being a disaster.

  1. How Will You Care For Yourself And The Kids?

If you are the main carer of your children, will you be able to afford to be a single parent? It’s a tough question but you need to consider this before you separate to try and prepare yourself for the road ahead.

If you haven’t worked for years and are then forced to move out following your separation, will you be able to find a job and make ends meet?

Equally, if your partner moves out, will you be able to afford to stay living where you are?

Even if the answers are not what you want to hear, they will help you start to prepare for your separation, and help you get your ducks in a row as much as possible.


Ian Shann is the principal mediator and director of Move On. Move On offers affordable and effective mediation in Perth for separating couples. Ian’s commitment is simple – to help keep separated couples out of the Family Court and minimise their need for lawyers, saving them time, money and anguish. Under Ian’s guidance, separated couples are able to Move On with their lives through family mediation.