New Year, New Separation

Christmas is over and the New Year has begun. Many people have made New Year’s resolutions to cut back on drink or food or to exercise more. However, you may be feeling that your relationship has reached its end, or you may have just found out that your spouse feels that way. How do you cope with a New Year new separation?

Why now?

You are not alone. Over the past few days, social media has been full of debates about the existence, or not, of “Divorce Day”. This is the day where more people contact family lawyers to begin divorce proceedings than any other.

Christmas is a busy time for families. Some hold off making a decision until after the holidays and others find that it is the time together that brings about the realisation. Whether it is your decision to end the marriage or your spouse’s, the coming weeks and months will be difficult, both emotionally, practically and financially.

Top tips

Your first thought may be where to begin. Here are my 7 top tips:

  • Take time

    - Don’t rush into trying to sort everything out. You need to be emotionally ready to discuss permanent arrangements for the children and separation of the finances. The new year bringing a new separation is hard for everyone.

  • Communicate calmly

    – If you have children, you are likely to need to communicate regularly with your spouse at least until the children are financially independent. It isn’t easy when emotions are running high. Try to get yourself to calm down before you message, call or meet; take deep breaths or even meditate.

  • Find a friend

    – The whole process is easier if you can find a friend who is going through or has been through a similar situation. It is great to have someone on your side who can be there for the rollercoaster you will go through.

  • Tell the children together

    – If possible, tell the children together, without any blame. They need to know that you will both be in their lives and that you will make arrangements for them to spend time with both of you but nothing more.

  • Take some time to create a budget

    – When you separate, there will be less money available than there was before, however wealthy you are. It is probable that you will need to make changes to your lifestyle. It is worth drawing up a budget so that you don’t begin to get into debt. This should also stop you spending to cheer yourself up. There is a budget planner within our guide.

  • Give it 12 months

    – Things will get better, your finances will get sorted out, your emotions will get under control and you will find a way to move forward.

  • Plan your new life

    – There can be positives to the new year bringing a new separation. Take this opportunity to look at what you want out of life and plan for your future, now that you don’t have to consider your spouse’s hopes and dreams.

If you enjoyed this article, you may also find “How do I design my new life?” useful.

Tamsin Caine is a Chartered Financial Planner at Smart Divorce. She specialises in working with separating or divorcing clients to help them to understand how to divide their finances to move forward with their lives. If you would like to speak to Tamsin or find out more about how she can help, email her at

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