Separation requires taking certain actions on the road to divorce

Georgia follows the general pattern for separation and divorce that exists in all other states.  The decision to separate is the most important event that marks the transition from being married to transitioning to another status that does not include the spouse. The separation phase must be accompanied by certain important actions that can create a stable and strong transition. If there are minor children, however, the transition will be slower and more careful. Each parent must pay careful attention to the reaction of the children and must nurture a healthy response to the divorce as is appropriate. 

Children will naturally assume a portion of responsibility for the breakup. It is perfectly appropriate to discuss such issues with them, and to assure them that they are not involved in that sense, and that both parents still love them. Open communications and listening to the children will help to defuse any acting out that may start up.

Sometimes, where necessary, a therapist may be an excellent source of helping the children to understand the nature of the transition and how it can be experienced in positive ways. Other actions are more mundane but necessary nonetheless. One of the first things to do is to make copies of all one's records so that they are available whenever called upon during the legal process. When in doubt, make a copy and keep them all in a secure and organized place.

It is also recognized procedure to close out all joint accounts and credit cards. Problems are avoided by doing this early on. Having the other spouse make charges or incur debt in joint names after the separation is something to be avoided.

In Georgia and elsewhere, another issue that experts recommend is that the individual use rational thought to work out the emotional impact of the separation and impending divorce. It will be natural to start blaming oneself and to feel guilty. It is best in most cases to realize that the relationship took its course and that the result was inevitable. It is a well-known self-admonition that some of us need to hear sometimes: we must bury the past and not let it obstruct our ability to create a new life.

Source: cheatsheet.com, "Headed for Divorce? You Need to Follow These Pro Tips", Julie Peirano, Dec. 16, 2017

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