Getting divorced is difficult and emotionally demanding. It's not something you want to go through alone. Make the best use you can of friends, family, support services and professional advisers
It's not easy dealing with the emotional stress of relationship breakdown. At times, you may not even be sure whether your relationship truly has broken down irretrievably. Making the decision to divorce can be particularly difficult when there are children to consider.
Close friends and family can be a great source of emotional support, but you need to understand their limitations. If you are trying to save your marriage, your friends may not always be the best people to help and advise you. A professional, impartial relationship adviser may be able to help you and your spouse work out your differences.
If things have gone beyond the point of no return, you'll still need to try to maintain a relationship with your spouse. If you can't talk to each other, reaching agreement over finances and acting in your children's best interest becomes very difficult. Rather than arguing everything through your lawyers, it's worth considering whether family mediation can help you work at least some of the issues out between yourselves.
You need to decide whether you need a divorce lawyer. It is possible to take a DIY approach to divorce, but not always the best option, particularly if there are significant financial issues to resolve or you cannot agree on what is best for your children.
Even if you do use a lawyer, there is plenty you can do to make sure you get the best out of your lawyer and don't waste money unnecessarily.
If you are financially dependent on your spouse, or both have a low income, costs may be a real worry. Your lawyer can advise you on options such as ensuring that your spouse provides immediate financial support or whether you are entitled to legal aid.
If you have any urgent concerns, you should get legal advice straightaway. For example, you might need to take action to stop your partner taking your child out of the country.
Make sure you get advice if you think you or your child are at risk from domestic violence or abuse. In an emergency, call the police.