Our top 3 tips to avoid the most common separation mistake

Guard against this common separation mistake with our three simple tips to save time, money and achieve the future you want.

Stress brought on by separation negotiations may tempt you to walk away and leave others responsible for the outcome, but this course of action brings great risks for your future. You’re the only one who knows what you truly want from the situation – and therefore the only one qualified to stand and fight for what’s yours. At the end of the day, this goes much deeper than anything of financial value, but how you want to mark the rest of your life. Where there are children involved it may be the difference of how custody arrangements play out, to ensure you’re equally supported by your former partner. In other cases, it may involve the handling of a property sale or divesting of other assets. Your voice needs to be heard, but that becomes impossible the minute you throw in the towel. Instead, guard yourself against this common separation mistake to save time, money and achieve the future you want.

1. Begin with the end in mind

Get clear about what you want at the end of this process. Write a list, gather your personal information – financials, identification and credit history – and approach your divorce like a business. Create a budget based on your current situation, then add in anything that will come into the mix down the track. Be prepared and know what you are willing to negotiate. The more strategic your approach, the more time and money you’ll save on legal fees. It also means you’re less likely to simply let others make decisions on your behalf.

2. Prioritise regular, ongoing self care

You want to be confident to remain a key player in any outcomes impacting on your future, but that’s impossible if you’re emotionally and financially drained. Instead, look after your basic care needs: get enough quality sleep, eat well, exercise and enjoy time spent with loved ones. Separation and divorce is exhausting and there’s no denying that it takes a lot out of you. The only way to get through it is to look after yourself. It’s basic but necessary – and often difficult to execute, so make it a priority.

3. Expert opinion matched to your needs

Rather than act on guesswork or advice from friends, family and neighbours, get fully informed so you can make solid decisions based on qualified expert information about your unique circumstances. It may be completely new to you to operate on this level, but a lack of confidence can mean you’re gambling that precious future you deserve to have. Go by the ‘3 quote’ rule: visit three lawyers, accountants, etc – whichever professionals you need to engage – and get their thoughts on what you want to achieve. Select whoever best meets your needs.

While separation can be draining, don’t rush through the process for the sake of a quick completion. Avoid ongoing feelings of resentment, unfinished business and – most importantly – being out of pocket, by seeking out professionals who can help ensure you’re on track to reach your goals. Set your target, don’t be afraid to look after yourself in whatever way refuels you, then assemble your D-team. A bright future awaits you, but only when you’re prepared to make the required effort for attainment.