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Deciding to separate

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As a London divorce solicitors, OTS family law team speaks to many people who are thinking about separating from a partner, husband or wife. The decision on whether or not to separate is never easy. People think it is if you do not have children, but in my experience, whatever your family circumstances, the decision to leave is not an easy one to make.

There are of course many situations where the decision is not down to you. That can be even harder to cope with, especially when the separation is unexpected as you were happy in the relationship.

Top London divorce solicitors talk to people who are:

• Not sure if they want to separate or not;

• Planning to separate at a later date;

• Wanting to separate and draw up a separation agreement but are not ready to start divorce proceedings;

• Wanting to start divorce proceedings and get a divorce as quickly as possible;

• Separated for many years and want to resolve financial matters and get a financial court order.

When should I see a divorce solicitor?

Many people think that they only need to take advice from a top London divorce solicitor when they want to start divorce proceedings.

That is not the case. The best London divorce solicitors will tell you that, whatever your family situation, it is best to take some legal advice.

Not everyone will want to act on the legal advice, but in my experience knowing where you stand, from a legal point of view, when it comes to separation, divorce, financial matters and child custody, is empowering and often reassuring.

Taking legal advice means you know what your options are. You can then make an informed decision about if you want to separate and, if so, when it is the right time for you to separate.

How can OTS Solicitors help?

Jordana heads our team of caring and committed divorce and family law specialists at OTS solicitors. Jordana is passionate about making sure that couples contemplating a separation or going through the trauma of a relationship breakdown or divorce get the best London divorce advice delivered in a caring and professional manner.

To speak to Jordana Adams or to a member of the London based OTS solicitors divorce team please call us on 0203 959 9123 for an initial discussion about how we can help you.

Should I separate?

People think that a top London divorce solicitor will make the decision for you. They are wary about consulting a divorce solicitor as they think that they will be pushed into starting divorce proceedings or, if they know that they want a divorce, that they will be encouraged to start expensive financial court proceedings.

That is not how the best London divorce solicitors work. A good divorce solicitor will give you legal information to help you make the decision on whether or not to separate.

Experienced London divorce solicitors know that often many people will have spent many years not able to make decisions for themselves. divorce solicitors know you need information and guidance about your legal options and potential outcomes to help you come to a supported decision.

When you are thinking about a separation or divorce, the views of friends and family can overwhelm you. Everyone has his or her own experiences and agenda but what the best London divorce solicitors will not do is push you into a separation or divorce.

Instead, top London divorce solicitors will support you in making your decision by giving you information to help you make an informed choice.

Should I leave the family home?

If you have taken the decision to separate one of the first questions is often where should you go?

It is vital that you take legal advice from the best London divorce solicitors before leaving the family home. That is because sometimes people leave the family home as they feel guilty after they have taken the decision to separate. However, leaving the family home may not be the best option for your children or may not be the best financial strategy.

It is often thought that if you leave the family home you lose your claim to a share of the property. That is not the case. However, if you leave the family home your partner may have no incentive to reach a financial agreement or to make sure that the house is ready to go on the market for sale.

There are some situations where for safety reasons you have to get out of the family home as quickly as you can. In other situations, it pays to take legal advice first from a top London divorce solicitor. You may be able to apply for an injunction order to exclude your partner from the family home or your partner may agree to leave voluntarily.

If you do take the decision to stay at the family home or leave, it is important that you agree on what financial support and, if relevant, child support will be paid until long-term financial decisions are made.

Sometimes a husband or wife will leave the family home because they cannot afford to pay the mortgage on their income alone whereas their husband or wife can. It is possible to get interim financial support to enable a spouse to stay in the family home, so you should not leave the family home without first exploring this option.

Legal advice from a top London divorce solicitor is therefore key to making the right decision about whether to stay at or leave the family home, rather than feeling pressurised or forced to leave, as you do not know your options.

Secure your possessions and your computer and documents

If you decide to leave the family home and are able to plan your departure, think about what you want to take.

If you have small sentimental items, such as ornaments left to you by parents, you may want to take them to avoid them getting lost or damaged.

You also need to think about the paperwork you will want. If your separation is amicable, you should be able to return to the family home to get your documents. If it not likely to be amicable, you may want to get your documents to take with you, in case they go missing.

You may want to keep some information private. Think about changing passwords for your mobile phone, laptop or computer. You may need to change your passwords even if you do leave the family home, as your partner may be able to gain access remotely.

Joint bank accounts and credit cards

If you have a joint bank account or credit card, you need to make sure that funds cannot be taken from the account without your agreement.

If you are concerned funds could be taken, then joint accounts can be frozen or overdraft or credit facilities reduced.

Many couples are able to discuss if joint accounts should be frozen or closed. If you are separating on an amicable basis, some couples agree to continue to use a joint account until they reach a financial settlement. This is not always appropriate and you may need to set up a sole account and agree on how bills are paid.

If you decide to separate, our divorce top London divorce solicitors can help you explore your legal options and consider financial support and child maintenance with you, so you can make an informed decision about the family home and your financial affairs.

OTS divorce solicitors

For expert legal advice on UK divorce and family law, contact OTS London divorce solicitors today for an informal chat on how London divorce solicitor, Jordana Adams, and her divorce team can help you. Call us on 0203 959 9123 and let us help you.

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