Divorce is a long process of transforming your family from one unit into two. There are actually several kinds of separation occurring during this process.
The first stage is the emotional separation. One or both of you may feel detached, alone or disconnected – for some reason, the unit is no longer functioning the way you had hoped or expected that it would. The feeling of “living together alone” may be real at this point.
Then there is the physical separation – this may mean a lack of physical intimacy, or even just seeing each other less often. At some point, one or both of you will move out. Finding a place that is affordable but suitable for you and the children can be a challenge. Many couples opt to stay close to each other, particularly in the beginning, to ease the transition for the children. This may involve some negotiation to determine who gets what, where the kids live, and takes some thinking about your budgets. An important part of this stage is working out a schedule so that you can both stay involved as parents.
Then there is the financial separation – dividing up your joint bank accounts, and separating your joint assets. This stage really helps you to prepare for the single life you will soon be living
This can often involve notifying opening separate bank accounts, applying for separate credit cards, It also involves learning to live within your means on your new budget, and may take some planning to adjust to your new situation. Once the legal divorce comes through, you may want to change the beneficiary on your retirement funds and insurance documents.
Finally, there is the legal divorce, which is really just the period at the end of a sentence – a legal acknowledgement of the hard work you and your ex have been doing for weeks and months beforehand.