10 Last-Minute Things You Must Do Before You End A Relationship

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ending a relationship

During the process of ending a relationship, with most couples, one or both are in a state of emotional distress. They don’t think rationally or practically; they are consumed with emotions and find it necessary to focus all their energy on trying process feelings.

That’s important, yes, but keeping a level head and handling all the attendant day-to-day details and future needs are as well. Whether you are the party who initiated the breakup or the one feeling devastated by it, you want to separate yourself from the chaos and address the following 10 tasks:

1. Find a support system.

Whether you have been together for a long time (married) or a short time (just moved in together), don’t wait until the door shuts to consult a therapist, spiritual advisor, close friend, or other confidante to make sure you’re working through your emotions.

This lays the groundwork for putting together a support system that will get you through.

RELATED: The Little-Known Secret Weapon For Ending A Toxic Relationship FOR GOOD

2. Prepare your children for the impending change.

If you have children with your partner, prepare them for what is imminent. Tell them when and why you and your other half are going your separate ways. Children need clarity and security.

3. Do a thorough search for your joint debts.

List them. They may include past due income taxes, debit cards, retail and bank credit cards; any open line of credit, loans or other encumbrances that would be considered liabilities.

4. Make a list of all your assets.

Break out this list as to what is rightfully yours and what you may have to divide with your ex or leave behind. For those together long-term, this might include real property, furnishings, collectables, art work, cars, boats, timeshares, jewelry, and other items you have accumulated over the years.

If you were a couple simply living together for a short time, it may only include a handful of kitchen utensils or, more importantly, that special pet you brought with you when you entered into this cohabitation arrangement.

Most of all, you should list joint bank accounts (savings and checking), stocks/bonds, IRAs — things like that if you co-mingled any of your funds. Make sure you separate any gift or inheritance funds that belong to you.



5. Gather all the papers that include your joint signatures.

Make a list of what they are. Find the copies of them. Know what you are liable for (the lease for that condo is one good example) and plan accordingly.

Automobiles, furniture, appliances, computers, tools, games, books are also included in this. If you get stuck, walk around the house and take inventory. Check what it was you signed for independently, or what is in both of your names.

6. Separate your finances as best you can.

If you have joint accounts, let your ex know you are closing them and taking your half of the savings (which you would likely get in court if you wound up there). Yes, take what is yours — savings and checking — and open up new accounts in your name only.

RELATED: 6 Things REAL Grownups Do To Come Out Ahead After Divorce

7. Arrange to hire all new contractors.

The gardener, housekeeper, accountant, or personal trainer. It's best not to continue to share the same service providers. Releasing them, and contracting with new ones, helps to provide closure and provide a clean break.

Often, your ex may try to probe for information about you from your suppliers. There is no risk of your ex ever knowing your personal business after the split, unless you have kids — and they can and do snitch. Only share information with friends and family you can trust.

8. Meet with your accountant or an attorney.

Let them guide you with your future financial issues. For instance, how do you get your name off a line of credit that your ex used, and you didn’t? How do you legally get his/her name off your car? What is it going to take to get out of that leased apartment? Should you notify the DMV that the name on your car registration is now going to be in your name only?

These professionals can give you a check-the-boxes list of what needs done in way of notifications.

9. Cut down on your social media platform postings.

Best not to air your frustrations, disappointments and woes with your circle of friends, as well as leave photos and information about your new lover. Keep a low profile... at least for now.

10. Make plans to clear your mind.

If you know your separation date with your soon-to-be ex-partner, get your calendar out and schedule some fun and interesting events that will help you have something to look forward to and move you forward.

How about enrolling in that yoga class that starts soon? Buying tickets to a concert? Signing up for some charity work with a group you really care about?

List what you can do differently to establish a new routine. This may include everything from frequenting a new grocery store to moving to a new city. Large and small plans, they are critical to map out before ending a relationship.

RELATED: The Heartbreaking Way He'll Dump You (Based On His Zodiac Sign)

David J. Glass, a shareholder at the Los Angeles law firm of Enenstein Ribakoff LaVina & Pham, is a Certified Family Law Specialist and has a PhD in Psychology. As such, he understands the many complexities of marriage, family, and divorce on many levels.

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