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Separation After 14 Years

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Chasingcars | 12:15 Sat 18th Nov 2023 | Family Life
10 Answers

Not really a question but more a series of questions and suggestions needed really.

My husband and I have decided to separate after 14 years married, 17 years together.

It's amicable and we've reached the decision jointly after a lot of talking.

We have a shared house and an 11 year old daughter who is our key focus.

How did you tell your you sit them down for a serious chat or gently drop into conversation?

Obviously after this long together lots to sort out and we have an appointment with solicitor on Friday to talk through process, timescales and costs.

Basic numbers, 600k house value with 300k mortgage so in theory 150k equity each .

Currently researching options and initially seemed we could sell the house and buy 2 smaller houses or my husband could keep the current house, remortgage and release equity for me to buy somewhere with decent deposit.

Slight issue may be that whilst my husband is full time employed I work part time, self employed so borrowing may be a little less limited.

My husband has agreed an amount to be paid towards myself and my daughter..amount to be agreed but will assist .

So really my question is has anyone gone through this at my age..44.

What did you do first? What things do I need to consider? How did you start over at this time of life?

I've been through cancer last year and extremely positive about our situation. Yes it is sad but I look at the amazing years we've had and my beautiful daughter.

I don't live an extravagant lifestyle. I just want to provide a home for my daughter and keep my car.

My husband also owns a flat he owned before we met but I don't want any claim in that, he will continue to rent which gives him a good source of income which ultimately helps him support our daughter.

We have also found a solicitor willing to act for us both which means this should be easier and less costly that having 2 separate solicitors. As I say it's amicable do hope it will be a little easier than if we were arguing about access and money etc 

So any thoughts or suggestions welcome.

Also I've always worked, last few years part time so I could bring up my daughter but wonder now I can start to increase my hours/ work, if I am still a bit on lower income (in terms of being able to buy a house solo) what support may be available if any. For context I earn around 30k but that is contracting and whilst is a good part time salary I don't have many benefits an employed person would like holidays or sick pay etc. I also work for a small company so I can't add extra days in this current role I would need to find an additional job elsewhere which I know would be lower salary.

The good news is because it's amicable we don't need to rush into selling out house and seeling too cheap or rush to buy a new house, we can live together whilst we sort things though that's not ideal long term but we can make it work for a while until either interest rates drop/ salaries increase/ house value increases/ save whilst staying here.

I look forward to your own stories and advise!

Many thanks 



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To add, I say separate but that's more in terms of the relationship, we obviously still living together. We want to start by splitting finances etc.

In time we wil divorce but that seems more of an administrative part of the whole process. Sorting children, homes and finances seem to be the priority followed by actual divorce.

Surely you can't both use the same solicitor - conflict of interests.

Sorry to read of the end of your marriage. Even though it's  amicable it's still a big upheaval. Sorry I can't help with legal or financial questions. 

I think you both need to sit down with your daughter and tell her what's happening. Emphasise that her happiness and well-being is the greatest concern.

My son was 3 when I finally spilt up with his dad, and we didn't have complications like money or a house to worry about. So he just left, and my son and I carried on as before. Which wasn't very different really as he was always out s #%& g ing! Not your situation, thankfully.

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Brainiac, yes historically it was always each party had their own solicitor. It's a fairly new as not many practices offer this but where a situation is amicable and we already have an idea how finances and lives will be going forward a family solicitor is a better way to reach an amicable solution quicker and cheaper and avoids the back and forth ( and associated costs) of separate solicitors. I don't want to waste money on legal fees unnecessarily and the quicker we can do all this has to be less stressful for everyone.

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Thanks for your advice and sorry you have been through similar.

We plan to sit down and explain things to my daughter it's just how to bring it up we make it a big announcement or just subtly drop into conversation. I don't her remembering some traumatic announcement when everything changed when in reality little will change for the foreseeable whilst we sort finances etc.

My husband and I haven't been close for a long time, she knows we sleep in separate rooms, following treatment for breast cancer but it's how to explain we're separating but will still be living together. How do you explain to children it's the emotional and physical connection has now disappeared but we're still good friends?! And for financial reasons we may have to stay living together for a while?

When I told my daughter about my breast cancer last year, she was just 9 and took it all in her stride. I kept it simple but honest. Maybe same approach for this?

She's due to start secondary school next year so worry the effect this may have though I guess there's never a good time to break news like this ?

I am sorry it has come to this

I'm not sure that you should tell your daughter anything yet as you don't seem to understand yourself exactly what is happening.  You will continue to live together amicably whilst leading separate lives, as many married couples do.

Nothing is really changing at the moment so why burden her it?

I do wonder how you will feel if either you or your husband start dating whilst living under the same roof.

Also the day to day practicalities.  Do you each shop for and cook your own food, eating separately? Do your own laundry? Send separate Christmas cards?

Say nothing until there is a real change in the near future 


If you're continue living together I just don't see the point - generating a traumatic experience for your daughter just to satisfy a silly little whim. 

And any solicitor willing to act for both parties is highly suspect IMHO.  The Law Society seem to share this view (See section 4.3 in  )


Just saying.

I agree with Barry.  Children are pretty resilient and also understand more than people think they do. But speaking from experience, don't argue when she's about.  My parents did when I was your daughters age and I've suffered from lifelong anxiety because of it.  They stuck together probably because of me, but I would have been happier if they had separated.

S. 5.1 of that report suggests that it is fine if proper procedures are adhered to and there is a common purpose, with the situation kept under constant review.

There is no need for a solicitor at all if both parties are in genuine agreement about every aspect of the divorce.  

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