It is devastating to find out that the person you are spending your life with, or have spent a significant part of your life with, is unfaithful. It feels as if the ground is slipping under one’s feet. As easy as it is for me to write it here, stop, think, plan and follow these steps below to help assist you in separating from your significant other.
1. Talk to a Therapist
While you are building a support system, it is also beneficial for your mental health to contact and speak to a therapist, for expert advice. It will provide you with mental strength that you need to deal with separation and a cheating spouse. They will provide you with coping mechanisms you need to help you move forward in this process.
2. Consult a Family Law Lawyer
After you have taken time to digest the facts, call and consult with a Family Law lawyer. Consulting with a lawyer will assist you in planning for your future. You may or may not choose to separate, depending on your circumstances. However, there is no harm in finding out what you are legally entitled to under the law.
3. Update your Will
If you have an existing Will and Power of Attorney, please contact your Will and your Estate Lawyer to update your Will as your relationship with your spouse changes upon separation. In addition, you will need to update the beneficiary designations as your former spouse may no longer be the person you want to inherit from your investments or estate upon your death.
4. Protect yourself
Once you separate from your partner, you must protect yourself financially. If you have joint accounts, then open a separate bank account. Keep records of any Section 7 expenses you are paying for your children. Good record-keeping will take you a long way. For more information on how to protect yourself financially post-separation, please consult a lawyer.
5. Communicate with your Children Together
If you decide to separate from your spouse, then you and your spouse should sit down with your children and explain to them that their parents will no longer be together. It is important for the children to know that their parents love them dearly, but now they will have two households instead of one.
Sometimes, children get wrapped around adult conflict, and it is essential for the parents to put their conflict on the side and think of the children’s best interests. You and your former spouse will be parents for the rest of your children’s lives; the earlier you start co-parenting, the better it is for them emotionally.
6. Build a Support System
Separation and divorce can be emotionally draining. Talk to a friend or a family member you trust and build a strong support system around you. Not only do you need it for yourself but also for your children. It is comforting to know that you have a shoulder to cry on and can rely on your support system anytime throughout this process.