If one or both of you have decided to separate you will usually have some major decisions ahead of you. Essentially these can be divided into three broad areas. Some people will find some parts of their separation straightforward while others may be counting the cost of their conflict for many years.

• Legal relationship between the two of you: Are you married or in a civil partnership? If so, have you discussed divorce or does this feel too soon? Do you know your options regarding this? If you are not married but have been living together, the legal aspect is different for you.

• Do you own property together and /or have your own property? What assets are there that you need to make decisions about? How can you address both your needs going forward?

• Children. How will life be different for your children once you are living apart? What are their hopes and fears? How can you address these? How will they share their time with each of you so that you can develop the relationship you would like with them?

Mediation can help.