Protecting yourself emotionally and physically after a relationship ends

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The heartbreak of ending a relationship or a marriage may seem like the most painful and potentially hazardous part of breaking up, but that’s not necessarily the case.

Believe it or not, it can leave us in a place where we are vulnerable to financial trouble and even losing the roof over our heads. Here’s what you should do to make sure you stay safe after it all ends.

Cancel any joint-owned credit arrangements

From credit cards to overdrafts, you should consider cancelling any credit agreements that have the names of both people in the relationship. Though you wouldn’t want to assume that your partner would go so far, they can end up dipping into those cards and overdrafts, leaving you partly responsible for paying them off, which can land you in a contentious spiral of debt. Don’t give things the change to get so dire. Even if the probability is low, protect yourself by closing any joint cards and accounts that you still have open.

Don’t argue on your own behalf

If you have any assets to split or any children involved in the mix, then the harm you can do yourself emotionally by arguing over them is greater than you might think. What’s more, any kind of “payback” or malicious behaviours can end up biting you back if it ends up coming out in a divorce court.

Make sure you take the time to consult a divorce lawyer. Contrary to belief, they will not push for a trial. If you want an amicable end to the marriage, they can help represent your interests in that, too.

Come to an agreement about the house

If like many serious couples, you are living together but not married, then breaking up can mean risking the roof over your head. To that end, looking to make a cohabitation agreement as soon as possible. What is cohabitation? It’s effectively the legal term for when you are living together but not married, and it can be a tricky grey area legally. As such, it’s recommended that you come together with your ex-partner and form a cohabitation agreement on how assets are split following the break-up, which can include provisions for children, too.

Be sensible about who you vent to

You might have a lot of stress and difficult emotions you need help processing, but you should be careful about who you’re talking to. For instance, if you end up talking to a friend that is still also a friend of your ex-partner, then what you said could be used against you, especially if it could have bearing on any legal proceedings.

A therapist is always the safest answer, but there are support groups that can offer impartial, anonymous advice and support, as well, if you really need to get it out.

A little cooperation with your partner is necessary to make sure that everyone is as emotionally and physically secure as they can be. As such, it’s in your best interests to keep break-ups as amicable as possible.

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